Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"Those smiley, nasal “Glee” cast voices return for a second batch of Christmas songs, including two written for the album: the new-wave-bubblegum “Extraordinary Merry Christmas” and “Christmas Eve With You,” which leans toward soft-rock country. The rest of the album mingles familiar songs with an occasional find — remember the Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping”? — and cute ideas like a bromantic duet on “Let It Snow.” There are only two serious clunkers: a revival of the patronizing British benefit single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and a faithful, unadorned piano-and-voice remake of “River,” in which Lea Michele earnestly proves she’s no Joni Mitchell." -The New York Times
Personnel: Onitsha Shaw, Missi Hale, David Loucks, Ravaughn Brown, Jane Lynch, Emily Gomez, Drew Ryan Scott, Tim Davis , Kamari Copeland, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer, Storm Lee, Dianna Agron, Amber Riley, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Damian McGinty, Jenna Ushkowitz, Heather Morris, Alex Anders, Jayma Mays, Mark Salling, Naya Rivera, Kala Balch, Darren Criss, Samuel Larsen, Lindsay Pearce, Alex Newell, Nikki Anders, Jeanette Olsson, Windy Wagner, Matthew Morrison, Adam Anders (vocals); Martin Persson (programming).
Audio Mixer: Peer Astrom.
Recording information: Chalice Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; RFT Studios, Calabases, CA.
Arrangers: Peer Astrom; Adam Anders.
Since Christmas is one of the most musically inclined holidays, it's no surprise that Glee is back with another set of festive songs. With so many collections of music under the Glee cast's collective belt -- nearly 20 at the time of this album's release -- listeners know what to expect, and Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album, Vol. 2 delivers just that. Amber Riley's Mercedes sings a charming version of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" that shows off her delicate high notes as well as her usual powerhouse style; as Santana, Naya Rivera -- one of the show's more underrated vocalists -- turns in a mischievous "Santa Baby"; and Chris Colfer's Kurt and Darren Criss' Blaine deliver a brassy, breezy "Let It Snow." The collection flags only when the songs get too overwrought (as on the album-closing version of "Do They Know It's Christmas") or too unfamiliar (as on "Extraordinary Merry Christmas"). Overall, though, Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album, Vol. 2 will please Glee fans who are into the show enough to purchase these collections. ~ Heather Phares