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The Isley Brothers feat. Ronald Isley - 'I'll Be Home for Christmas'

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The Isley Brothers feat. Ronald Isley - 'I'll Be Home for Christmas'

Album cover © Def Soul Classics.

The Bottom Line

In the 50-plus years the Isley Brothers have been releasing music, they had never released a Christmas or holiday album until now. And although it's been a long time coming, the Isleys' I'll Be Home for Christmas, which was released in October 2007, was worth the wait if you're an Isleys fan. This 40-minute collection of 10 new and classic holiday-themed songs is like the audio equivalent of a lit fireplace in the dead of winter: it's warm, comforting and refreshing, not to mention peaceful, warm and romantic.
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Pros

  • Ron Isley's smooth voice.
  • The holiday spirit.

Cons

  • None.

Description

  • R&B Christmas album.
  • Buttery smooth vocals.
  • New and classic holiday songs.

Guide Review - The Isley Brothers feat. Ronald Isley - 'I'll Be Home for Christmas'

The only difficult thing in trying to review the Isley Brothers' first holiday album, I'll Be Home for Christmas is trying to weigh its positives and negatives, because there are no true negatives here. This is a very pleasant, well-sung and tastefully performed and produced album that's meant for the whole family to enjoy, but would probably be especially appreciated by couples in love.

Ron Isley's signature silky-smooth vocal style is fully intact on the album and fits perfectly with the album's holiday theme. He especially shines on the Isleys' remakes of "Silent Night" and "White Christmas," the latter of which has been substantially reworked for the album, and only bears a passing resemblance to the original version. In fact, many of the songs covered on the album are a lot more Soulful than the old school versions, and therefore should be a lot more enjoyable to the devoted R&B fan.

As far as the new material, there's two tracks, "I'm in Love" and "What Can I Buy You?" The former is a wedding proposal tune thinly disguised as a Christmas song, sounds like it could have come straight out of the Isleys' mid-70s heyday. And from the title and opening verse, "What Can I Buy You?" sounds like it would be the kind of ode to materialism that Ron Isley's alter-ego, Mr. Biggs, would sing. But it eventually turns out that the song is a lesson in the old adage that you can't buy love, which is an important lesson to keep in mind and take to heart while living in this consumerism-driven world of ours.

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