Merrill Leffmann’s New and Old Christmas Classics is a little something for everyone with her sultry and sometimes hilarious voice shining through both original and classic Holiday songs.
Acclaimed vocal instructor, Merrill leaves no stone unturned with her vaudeville performances highlighting the album.
The album kicks off with I Love A Man In Uniform, an ode to The Man In Red aka Santa. Her sexy Marilyn Monroe take and playful lyrics are perfect for the Christmas office party or jazzy nightclub with it’s blues/jazz arrangements.
Next is Dumped Before Christmas, a country ditty about getting.. you guessed it, dumped before Christmas
December slows things down a bit with a piano driven ballad. She cleverly ties in a number of Holiday lyrics to keep it in the spirit of the record.
Merrill keeps things rolling along with I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm, a jazzy little number that would be right at home in a cozy jazz nightclub.
The Christmas Song is a classic that Miss Leffmann does well. Her breezy voice carries thoughout the tune without novelty or irony.
Getting back into some silliness, she covers the Dr. Suess number You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch. With a back and forth banter between her and a trumpet, this one is a bit strange, even for Merrill. But in the spirit of Christmas fun, you could do alot worse. Picture Carol Channing singing this.
Merrill straddles the line between vaudevillian and the sincere. The song Every Year is a meloncholy ballad about losing someone. This is where she really shines brightest.
The Star That Came has a deep baritone voice taking the lead while the two voices duo and harmonize throughout the song. This track has more of a classical sound, and Merrill kills it at the end with her high notes.
I Hear A Lot About Santa is another jaunt into the cabaret, this time around though she has guest vocals from the Ronstadt family, each one chiming in and adding to the humor. It reminds me of I’m Getting Nothin’ For Christmas.
Christmas Waltz is a short piano tune, followed by Daddy Says, another Country ditty featuring a narrative intro by one of the Ronstadt children. Merrill takes a back seat on this one, leaving the Ronstadts to command the song. It has a bluegrass chorus with good harmonies.
Silent Night wisely closes the album, this acoustic number is played by the numbers and Merrill takes the melody into new terrain, smartly keeping the mischief at bay and allowing herself to commit to a soulful performance.
Artist website: www.mlvoice.com