Imagine a group of friends gathering together for Christmas in some large house with a blazing fireplace and an enormous Christmas tree, entertaining each other with song. Now imagine that group of friends is as talented as the cast of Glee and arrive armed with excellent backing tracks. That is what the soundtrack of Glee: The Music, The Christmas Music: Volume 3 sounds like.
The CD feature 10 classic holiday songs, nine of which are about Christmas and one for Hanukkah. Six of the songs were featured on the 2012 Christmas episode (aired December 13) and the other four are bonus tracks. The bonus tracks are “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Happy Xmas (War is Over).” Naturally, all of the songs are enjoyable, well-arranged and slick, and each listener will have his or her own favorites.
Chord Overstreet (Sam) does a great job on the rollicking “Jingle Bell Rock,” while Darren Criss (Blaine) and Chris Coller (Kurt) do a marvelous job on the Motown-flavored rendition of “White Christmas.” “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah,” performed by Jacob Artist and Mark Salling, is an unusual and entertaining tribute to that other December holiday. Lea Michele (Rachel) does her usual outstanding job on “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
The only drawback of this CD is that there are no original or rare songs on it. Every song, except for the Hanukkah number, are staples on the radio and television this time of the year and all have been recorded numerous times by other artists. Even “Happy Xmas,” which happens to be this reviewer’s favorite Christmas song, has been done by many artists since John Lennon and Yoko Ono first recorded it.
The most obvious audience for this CD, of course, are the many fans of the television series, but it is a relaxing, extremely pleasant collection of songs perfect for solitary Christmas listening or for sharing with your own group of friends and family around your own Christmas tree, even if you don’t watch Glee on television.