If your expectations for Hanson’s ‘Finally It’s Christmas’ were high, you’re going to need to raise them. The album, which diehard fans have been eagerly anticipating for 20 years, just dropped and it’s ready to make sweet holiday love to your ears.
Hanson strikes again. No, not with a banger follow up to the hit everyone thinks of when they hear that name, but instead a sophomore Christmas album. Yes, I said sophomore because the group released their first Christmas album, Snowed In, in 1997 to rave reviews. Now, Finally It’s Christmas, was released two decades later on October 27. It is chock full of classics you already know and love, as well as an unexpected mashup and some delightful original songs you’ll be hurrying to add to your annual holiday playlist. Some may have thought it would be hard to create a worthy follow up to an album once labeled “The Best Christmas Album Ever” by Paste, but the brothers — Zac, Taylor and Isaac — have done just that. In fact, Finally It’s Christmas might be better than it’s predecessor. Yup, I said it.
The album starts off with the same record-like sound effect as Snowed In, a little easter egg for the fans that have been around since 1997. It kicks right into the original, “Finally It’s Christmas”, which is a really fun, feel good Christmas anthem you’ll have on repeat over the season. Other originals include “‘Til New Years Night”, which has a doo-wop vibe similar to “Little Saint Nick”, and the touching “Peace on Earth” which is a slow moving, soft rock reminder that there’s actual meaning to Christmas — not just presents, parties and wishing your baby would come home. There’s also “Joy to the Mountain”, which is actually a mash-up of “Joy to the World” and “Go Tell It On The Mountain”. This one deserves some serious praise, because even though it’s not an original song the concept alone made for a surprisingly stunning track.
Standouts? Easy. “Please Come Home”, which is led by Zac’s soulful voice. It’s a flawless take on one of everyone’s favorite classics. However the highest amount of kudos goes to their cover of Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want For Christmas”, which is a seriously refreshing take on a classic that has been beaten to death one too many times. It could almost be considered an entirely new song, while still managing to capture the essence that made the original such a hit. There’s also a real soft spot for two album-only tracks, “Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer” and “Jingle Bells”, which appear to be Hanson singing with their collective 10 — yes, I said 10 — children. So sweet!
Other stunning covers include “A Wonderful Christmas Time”, “Someday at Christmas”, “Winter Wonderland”, “Blue Christmas” and the album’s closer, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. There’s also “Happy Christmas” which, despite it’s name, is not a cover of the John Lennon classic and instead a really sweet, upbeat love song. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go listen to this on repeat forever.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — What do YOU think of Hanson’s new Christmas album? Which is YOUR favorite song? Comment below, let us know!