Let It Begin...

Mike Eldred

Velvet Armadillo Records, 2006


REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


There has been a recent discussion on the Daily Vault Forum (which, if you haven’t checked out, you should) about essential Christmas CDs. While there has been varying responses, I admit my tastes run more towards the traditional – my favorite being Nat King Cole’s. So it was probably foreordained that I would enjoy Christmas music from theatrical tenor Mike Eldred, as his tastes run nicely towards the traditional, too, with just a few surprises thrown in to make it interesting. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Let It Begin… is his second CD, and it’s well worth a look.

Eldred has a varied and extensive musical resume, having appeared on CDs by Jim Brickman; performed in Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserables, and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame; and guested with multiple symphony orchestras and ensembles across the US. His voice is pleasant, fluid, and elegant, with a gifted tenor range, and the musicians he works with on Let It Begin… are talented in the extreme.

The greatest high point on Begin… is the song selection. A lot of holiday albums tread the same old ground, with the obligatory version of songs like “Jingle Bells.” Instead, we are gifted with “The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year,” “Let There Be Peace On Earth,” and a great cover of “Believe” from The Polar Express. Even better, as far as I’m concerned, are wonderful versions of “In The Bleak Midwinter” and “A Cradle In Bethlehem,” two of my favorites -- and, in my opinion, most underappreciated -- holiday songs.

When you add contemporary songs like “December Makes Me Feel This Way” and “Wandering Star,” we have a modern classic. If the idea of having to listen to Mariah Carey vamp her way through “All I Want For Christmas Is You” again makes your teeth hurt, you should immediately get a copy of Mike Eldred’s Let It Begin….

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2006 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Velvet Armadillo Records, and is used for informational purposes only.