Pop music star Colbie Caillat has compiled a winning collection of Christmas songs on Christmas in the Sand. It’s her first holiday album. It features eight standard carols and four original songs. The deluxe edition contains two additional standards, “Jingle Bells” and “I’ll be Home for Christmas.” This review is of the MP3 album.
Caillat broke into the music scene via social media. Her Myspace page received approximately 22 million hits in four months. Shortly after the Myspace fanfest, she signed with Universal Republic Records.
The singer-songwriter tore up the music industry when she first appeared in 2007. The single “Bubbly” from her debut album Coco hit number 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. She also had two other songs from Coco make the top 100: “Realize” and “The Little Things.” She released her second album Breakthrough in 2009 and her third album All of You in 2011.
Caillat has also garnered success working with other musicians. In 2008 she won a Grammy Award for a duet with Jason Mraz, “Lucky” on his album We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things. She did back-up vocals and co-wrote “Breathe” for Taylor Swift’s Grammy Award-winning album Fearless.
Her latest release, Christmas in the Sand offers an upbeat country sound. She released it in October 2012. The record breaks from traditional (and boring) compilations in that it offers some new songs and some rollicking renditions of the old standards. It’s not the same old renditions that have been playing for 60 years.
On this release, Caillat includes four duets, including on the opening track, “Merry Christmas Baby,” where she sings with Brad Paisley. Their voices work well together and they do a good version of the song. Gavin DeGraw provides the accompaniment on “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Better versions of this song exist, and it is the one drawback of the album. Her version of the “Christmas Song” sung with Justin Young sounds excellent. His deep voice blends with her higher pitch to form a pleasing harmony. The fourth duet on the album is “Everyday is Christmas” with Jason Reeves.
Christmas in the Sand contains four original songs although three of the titles are similar to other existing Christmas songs, causing a bit of confusion. Everlife also does a song called “Everyday is Christmas,” but Caillat’s lyrics are much better. It’s about being happily in love. Her “Happy Christmas” is not the John Lennon song, “Happy Christmas (War Is Over).” Caillat provides a faster paced song, but doesn’t carry the message impact of Lennon’s song. “Mistletoe” gives the listener a slower paced romantic song.
The title track, “Christmas in the Sand”, gives the listener an awesome original track that could possibly become the next Christmas classic. We see Santa in a different light. The listener can visualize Santa on a surfboard as well as playing on the beach with Rudolph and the elves. Maybe, he’s sipping a rum runner, and being a little bit naughty. You’ll look forward to hearing it year after year.
With Christmas in the Sand, Caillat puts together a great compilation containing only one weak song. Her original songs and the duets make buying the whole album worth it. Even if you don’t buy the album in its entirety, the MP3 of the title track, “Christmas in the Sand” is a must.