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BWW Album Review: Leslie Odom, Jr.'s 'The Christmas Album' Infuses Love, Joy, and Merriment into the Holiday Season

New album also features the legendary Cynthia Erivo and Nicolette Robinson, as well as The Walls Group and Michea Walls

BWW Album Review: Leslie Odom, Jr.'s 'The Christmas Album' Infuses Love, Joy, and Merriment into the Holiday Season

Tony and Grammy Award winner, Leslie Odom Jr., who originated the role of Aaron Burr in Broadway's Hamilton, recently released his new holiday album, The Christmas Album, which also features the legendary Cynthia Erivo and Nicolette Robinson, as well as The Walls Group and Michea Walls. The Christmas Album is Odom's fourth studio album and his second Christmas album. This new recording includes both original songs and the holiday tunes we all know and love, such as "O Holy Night," "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas," "Last Christmas," and more.

In a year where we all could use a 'little' Christmas; Odom Jr. beautifully delivers! Each song contains more than just lyrics - but a strong heartbeat behind them! He covers the full gamut of emotions from the ones you'd expect during what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, such as excitement and happiness, but also carefully acknowledges the bleak reality many have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, especially, it's important to be authentic and realistic when thinking about the pain, loss, and hopelessness that 2020 has cast, and The Christmas Album provides that outlet to heal and process what has transpired over the last several months.

A delightful addition is Odom Jr.'s version of the Christmas classic, "Little Drummer Boy," performed with the Mzansi Youth Choir. This collaboration uplifts spirits and offers new liveliness to this cherished classic. The choir hits their high note, while celebrating South African music, with a melody that you can feel - awakening your soul!

"Winter Song" featuring the ultra-talented Cynthia Erivo, truly resonates this holiday season. While we can't be with the ones we love in the same capacity, it can often seem like we'll never be reunited. This ballad captures that yearning and desire to make it through the long, cold winter with the promise of better days ahead. Summer still exists and for now, we can turn to those pleasant thoughts through our memories. This too shall pass comes to mind, even though the end date seems very fuzzy.

Odom Jr. and his wife, actress, Nicolette Robinson, come together for the traditional Chanukah song, "Ma'oz Tzur." It is extremely well-done and also showcases a stunning jazz piano break that creates a hopeful and optimistic glow. Another special treat is the upbeat Hawaiian-themed Christmas song "Mele Kalikimaka" starring The Walls Group and Michea Walls. You instantly feel transported to paradise - surrounded by the warmth, comfort, and beauty that we can go to anytime in our minds.

The album wraps with "Heaven & Earth" and breaks down the power of love to move heaven and earth. It is the perfect remedy for the times we are currently in, when in the fight to survive, it's easy to forget about the goodness that is still ever-present in our world. When we lean into those moments, we will experience a miracle. While so much is uncertain, music remains an undeniable constant that Odom Jr. reminds us of this season. Is there a better gift?

The Christmas Album is available on all streaming platforms.


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