Sunday, December 26, 2010
One of the most long-awaited winter releases of this year "Christmas With Friends" was provided by Måns Zelmerlöw. Album was released in charity collaboration with ICA market and sold nowhere except ICA shops but supported by digital singles "December" and "Vit Som En Snö" featuring Pernilla Andersson - the only original tracks of the albums. The rest of the songs are traditional Christmas covers as it happens usually on this sort of albums. But it wouldn't be fair to speak about Måns' album as another Christmas album because actually it's quite nice experiment in completely new style for Måns being almost 100% jazz-record with quite special mixed atmosphere of retro, musicals, it's not trying to sound like big band-jazz of 30-40ies, it sounds very naturally like it was recorded then, sure with modern production but Måns just floating out in your mind in black and white colour performing at some glamourous VIP-party entertaining public in old suits and dresses. You're diving into this atmosphere of retro-party right from the opening "Jag drömmer om en jul hemma/White Christmas" and this track presents another trend - this album contains both Swedish and English covers. You'll hardly find here any sadness or Christmas melancholy, mostly it's playful happy mood and loads of energy and big wide smiles in such beloved gems like "Christmas (Baby please come home)", "Christmas song" and "Winter wonderland". Though fans of classic religious ballads also get amazing treatment with "The angel Gabriel" - probably the deepest track of the album - epic and spiritual and being one of a kind becoming especially precious. Another ballad-highlight of the album is duo "Vit Som En Snö" with Pernilla Andersson that in contrast with cheerful jazzy "December" is fragile and delicate love-ballad single. Another duo on the album is arranged for cover of "All I want for Christmas is you" performed with Pauline, earlier Måns recorded this song with Agnes and when Agnes was felt like primary vocalist artists are equal in this version, on the one hand track's losing identity on the other hand it's still as good as any track that could be performed by such pleasant voices. The album serves as great treatment for Christmas mood creation so if you'll just put it as background making some Christmas preparation I can promise you'll fall into this festive atmosphere not later than in 4-5 tracks.
Örebro had ability to watch amazing Christmas show "O, Helga Natt" with Måns as main artist this year and we're also becoming luckies to watch it now! Whole show was held in Allsång-format so beloved by Swedish public where everyone was involved in singing traditional songs with artists, Måns performed "Tomten Jag Vill Ha En Riktig Jul", "All I want for Christmas is you" and "Vit Some En Snö" with Pauline. Another invited artists were Moa Gagnert with quite impressive schlager-smelling performance and French tenor Avi Klemberg. I really recommend you to watch this Allsång-concert to get taste of real Swedish Christmas.