Released November 2010 by Island Def Jam
Mariah Carey ushers us into the holiday music season in high style. Following the relative commercial disappointment of Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel, she initially planned a remix album with a few new tracks. However, a Christmas collection was chosen instead. That seems a wise decision. The result is a relaxed, joyful and fun holiday celebration. Just like her first multi-platinum Christmas album Merry Christmas, this set of traditional carols and new holiday songs should quickly find its place on your seasonal playlist.
Relaxed, Celebratory Feel for Mariah Carey
There is an overall relaxed, comfortable feel to Merry Christmas II You that is very engaging. Some of the best moments evoke a party atmosphere. "Oh Santa!" is perfect music for a party with friends. Don't be surprised if you find yourself singing along. Mariah Carey's version of music from A Charlie Brown Christmas has an air of relaxed intimacy with breathy, jazzy vocals that will warm your holiday heart. The live version of "O Holy Night" from WPC in south central Los Angeles will cause chills in its live simplicity. It is an opportunity to hear Mariah Carey tackle some deeper, throatier tones.
New Songs Including Another Contemporary Classic
In general the new songs here are solid. "Oh Santa!" is mentioned above. Bryan Michael Cox and Jermaine Dupri have helped Mariah Carey concoct a new Christmas classic. "When Christmas Comes" takes on a very pleasing retro soul vibe. "One Child" is pure holiday power ballad. A children's chorus is used effectively, and then Mariah Carey brings it all back down to earth by song's end. Only "Christmas Time Is In the Air Again" stumbles. It seems to drown in a sea of orchestral schmaltz. However when talking about new holiday songs, hitting the right tone three out of four times is a good batting average indeed.
Top Tracks On 'Merry Christmas II You'
- "Oh Santa!"
- "When Christmas Comes"
- "Charlie Brown Christmas"
- "O Come All Ye Faithful / Hallelujah Chorus"
- "O Holy Night"
Mariah Carey's Christmas Celebration Should Not Be Missed
This is a Christmas album that should be on most pop fans' must hear list for the 2010 holiday season. Since it is Mariah Carey, there are moments that the melismatic approach gets a bit out of hand. Her version of "The First Noel" is the most notable example. The collaboration with Mariah Carey's mother Patricia Carey, an opera singer, on "O Come All Ye Faithful / Hallelujah Chorus" is over the top and gloriously so. Here Mariah Carey is at her best as she threatens to take everything too far sonically with operatic tones, impossibly high notes, and melisma in full force, but somehow it all holds together in exhilarating fashion. Merry Christmas II You also includes a slightly updated version of her previous classic "All I Want For Christmas Is You" while closing with a disco dance party version of "Auld Lang Syne" leading us all into the New Year in full force party mode. Mariah Carey does know her way around Christmas albums.