The Bottom Line
And although Jon's heart is apparently in the right place, some of the original material is a little too melancholy and downbeat to truly be considered proper Christmastime songs.
- Mellow and peaceful.
- Fresh arrangements of classic tunes.
- Flat or uneven vocals on some tracks.
- Not enough tempo variation from song to song.
- Four traditional holiday songs, plus six original tracks.
- Soul meets Santa.
- Peaceful, but sometimes overly melancholy.
Guide Review - Jon B. - 'Holiday Wishes From Me To You'
The song, "Hold You Down," which is about staying loyal to one's true love sticks out on the album over Christmas songs, but not in a negative way. The song itself, with it's smokey vocals, subtle piano and angelic backing harmonies, is a nice complement to the holiday material and a great love song.
The subsequent track, "Over Our Heads," is also an original number, but conversely, it suffers from a deep melancholy and doesn't fit with the overall theme. The political message (anti-war, pro-troops) also seems out of place.
Things get back on track somewhat on "Peace On Earth," which is not a cover of a holiday song, but an original composition about the homeless. Although the sentiments of the album are good and Jon's heart apparently is in the right place, the album doesn't reach the stars because of flat vocal performances by Jon on some tracks.
What's best about the album is that effort was placed into updating the traditional Christmas songs and making them even more relevant to a modern audience of Soul music fans. Some of the traditional carols, specifically "O' Holy Night," are virtually unrecognizable, they've been rearranged so drastically.
Interestingly, despite the album being tied to one of the happiest times of the year, Jon sounds downbeat on some songs. And at some points, Holiday Wishes is rather sad and mournful. But fortunately, 10-song album ends of a positive note with "Santa's On His Way," another original song, this one telling all the little boys and girls to be patient for the arrival Santa Claus.