CD Review: In Winter by Katie Melua

In Winter - Katie Melua

In Winter - Katie Melua - Credit: Archant


Move over Bublé, there’s only one Yuletide album you need this year.

Forget rehashes of seasonal stalwarts, more saccharine than a chocolate orange, if you really want to feel festive then immerse yourself in a gentle dusting of Katie Melua, softer than snow and twice as Christmassy!

In fact, this is almost an anti-Bublé album, as it represents a project Katie devised to fill the house with “warm, poignant sounds” in contrast to the usual jingle bells pop songs inflicted upon us throughout December, based on the overarching theme of winter.

She has also tapped into her Georgian roots by recording with the Gori Women’s Choir, who practice a remarkable form of polyphonic singing which perfectly complements Katie’s celebrated vocal range, with the strength of their performances breaking through the language barriers that exist when you put together an album performed in English, Russian, Romania, Ukrainian and Georgian!

Featuring a mix of traditional carols, folk songs and choral works, plus Joni Mitchell’s festive classic River, and four new songs penned by Katie for the album, it’s a distinctive and rewarding alternative to the usual festive fare.

At times both beguiling and bewitching, In Winter puts a traditional magic back into Christmas.