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Gwen Stefani : You Make It Feel Like Christmas

The timeless Gwen Stefani has released a Christmas album packed with six traditional favourites and six fresh toe-tappers.

There’s not much to say about the covered songs here, except that they’ll get you singing along instantly. It’s the perfect soundtrack for unwrapping presents, backyard cricket, or sinking tinnies around a roast. The originals, however, are where this album really shines.

The title track is a duet, co-written by and performed with her partner, Blake Shelton. Their chemistry comes to the fore here as their voices combine effortlessly, like red and white on a candy cane. ‘Never Kissed Anyone with Blue Eyes Before You’ has an incredibly warm, soothing vocal melody – especially in the chorus – sung atop a lumbering trumpet lead.

All the originals feel deeply sincere, and this is what makes the album special. It would’ve been easy for Stefani to phone this album in for some quick cash (is that too Grinch-y of me to say?), but that isn’t what’s she’s done here.

Still, this is a Christmas album, so it’s not necessarily tailored for listening to in any month outside December. As long as it’s the festive season though, I’ll be blasting this stuff.

8/10