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Noël! Noël!! Noël!!!

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Michel Legrand 12/6/2011

Review

Released to coincide with his 80th birthday, legendary Oscar-winning French composer Michel Legrand's first Christmas album, Noel! Noel! Noel! features a lineup which only highlights the generation-spanning and globe-trotting influence his orchestral arrangements have had since the 1950s. From promising Nigerian-German soul singer Ayo ("Santa Claus Is Coming to Town") to garage rock pioneer Iggy Pop ("Little Drummer Boy"), its 12 festive tracks bring together an eclectic range of artists, all of whom appear surprisingly comfortable with the sweeping big-band productions. Irish rockabilly revivalist Imelda May transfers her vintage '50s-inspired tones to the gorgeously melancholic, woodwind-led rendition of "Silent Night," Teddy Thompson and Rufus Wainwright channel their inner old-school crooners on a theatrical version of "White Christmas," while Mika continues to pursue his recent French ambitions on the suitably wintry "Vive le Vent." But it's the stars from Legrand's homeland who steal the show, whether it's folk-punk chanteuse Olivia Ruiz' best Edith Piaf impression on the understated "Le Noel de la Rue," First Lady Carla Bruni's seductive presence on a cocktail bar-style interpretation of "Jolis Sapins," or Emilie Simon's enchanting, cutesy vocals on the gentle jazz of "Santa Baby." The heart-warming mass singalong of "Noel D'espoir" suggests Legrand should have had the confidence to include a few more original compositions, but while Noel! Noel! Noel! provides little you haven't heard before, its abundance of old-fashioned charm ensures it's one of the classiest and most timeless yuletide albums of the year. ~ Jon O'Brien
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Let It Snow Michel Legrand 3:19
  3. 2 White Christmas Michel Legrand 3:51
  4. 3 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Michel Legrand 3:47
  5. 4 Noël D'Espoir Michel Legrand 3:9
  6. 5 Vive Le Vent [Jingle Bells] Michel Legrand 2:50
  7. 6 Santa Baby Michel Legrand 4:10
  8. 7 Jolis Sapins Michel Legrand 4:3
  9. 8 The Little Drummer Boy Michel Legrand 3:6
  10. 9 Santa Claus Is Coming to Town Michel Legrand 2:59
  11. 10 Silent Night Michel Legrand 3:42

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