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Morning Song – O Holy Night

December 24, 2015

Christina Aguilera’s “O Holy Night” isn’t the best version ever recorded…not even close.  (YMMV.) It’s overproduced. The Lord’s Prayer, spoken over Aguilera’s vocalizing starting about 2 minutes in, is unnecessary. And the whole song could be Exhibit A for the prosecution in a “melisma abuse” case.

But Christina was still a teenager when she cut this record.  Her vocal pyrotechnics are, at least in part, the singing of a young woman growing into her voice, pushing the boundaries of what she can do, and delighting in her newfound prowess.  You can hear that best at about 3:08 when she falls off a glorious high note, starts improvising, takes the piano player up and down the scales with her for about 20 seconds, and then slides almost (but not quite; she’s still learning her way around the newfound powers of her voice) effortlessly into a gospel groove that calls forth the full band and a church choir.

O holy night indeed.

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From → Music

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