If you are seeking a holiday album to bring out the rejuvenating cheer of Christmas, then you must buy Tom Odell’s “Spending All My Christmas With You EP”. I have reviewed his golden voice before because he truly is one of the most distinct voices currently in the mainstream. He makes lyrics feel like soft, silky velvet being draped onto your soul. Thus, the warming effect of his vocals are perfect to bring music that enters the cold of Christmas, to enliven it with with some warm, jolly goodness.
This “life-giving” record begins with the rocking “Spending All My Christmas With You”. Recorded live at BBC, you have to admire the vocal prowess/ perfection of Odell. He is clear and crisp like snow, and falls upon the bouncing rhythms and riffs of his guitar to make snow angels out of lyrics. This track is an excellent introduction to both the EP and the holiday season. It captures the innocent adrenaline that comes over people, whom are all equally excited to receive gifts and give them. There is a heightened sense of happiness in Christmas that makes everything feel hopeful, and, somehow, “Spending All My Christmas With You”, the title song and EP, captures that! Although the title song has Odell regretting that he did not listen to his lover’s advice about traveling back home for Christmas, you want to dance away that remorse and swoon to his vocals, which is a common effect of the album.
In the words of Chris Arndt, Tom Odell “does not sing notes… he means them”. The way he plays with his voice, from the breaking vocals of “Real Love”, to the pouncing affirmation that is “Silhouette”, Odell strikes more for emotions than notes. “Real Love” is stunning and somber, all at once. Odell captures the pondering nature of this Beatles’ classic, as you can envision him walking around a snowy London and looking at all the holiday cheers and jeers Christmas can brew within people. Hence, the somberness of his vocals comes from the odd, teary effect that occurs within people when they see something so beautiful that its joy makes them cry. Yet, this record does have its sexy, techno- driven Christmas anthem like Silhouette. Yes, I know, sexy and Christmas are not commonly associated, but through Silhouette, Odell tastefully reminds listeners that couples are particularly fond of each other in this season. We all have those that we miss, especially, during Christmas, when everyone gathers and makes sure to always show the best side of their self. By ending the EP with the classics, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “Silent Night”, Odell captures the childlike nostalgia of the holidays; you miss the old while you get excited for the new. These paradoxical feelings in his songs, are what solidify that Odell can make Christmas feel both young and fresh, while also tapping into its timeless nature.
I absolutely adored this EP, especially because every music lover is, constantly, seeking an artist to “revamp” the Christmas sound. Ever since Mariah Carey dominated the pop-charts with her Christmas-themed albums, artists have been inspired to infuse the holidays into their records with hopes to mutually capture the fun and, at times, downside of the season. Not many pop artists have succeeded, but Odell’s folksy blues voice has success written all over it, like extra marshmallows in your cocoa. Thus, enjoy the holiday season and buy Spending All My Christmas With You on December 9. Click Here to buy the album and learn more about Tom Odell.