It's nearly December ! Time to get the Christmas CDs out and leave them permanently in the CD players in the car and the house ! Well, thanks to the lovely people at Sony, I now have a new one to add to my collection. Aptly called Snowflake, its cheery red colour and smiley snowflake design are guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy even before you hit play.
The cover declares that this is a CD of "fun festive favourites for children and grown-ups", and I totally agree with that. It has the classic songs that most children will know and be able to join in with and the singer pronounces the words extremely clearly so if your little ones are trying to learn the words it's perfect. It's parent friendly too because it's not annoying to listen to, like some kid-oriented music compilations which end up doing your head in after a few listens, and it's not at all headachey.
Snowflake is the final album in a trilogy created by Rainbow Collections, the first two being Lullaby, a children’s bedtime CD, and Toybox, a collection of nursery rhymes for playtime. Judging by the fact that 5-year-old Juliette can't help getting up and bopping around the room while singing loudly along and Pierre giggles and bounces in his chair waving his arms around every time I put it on, I'm sure the other two CDs would be great for toddlers and young children too.
The blurb says : "Snowflake brings to life traditional Christmas songs recreated by the voice of trip-hop band, Zero 7, lead singer Sophie Barker and producer KK who has worked with many famous artists including Bjork and Brian Eno." Don't expect trip hop or rock music though - this is a very "easy listening" calming CD to listen to that is ideal for calming the kids down ready for nap time (afte a boogie around the room).
It features 16 tracks and many of the popular Christmas classics are on there, including ‘Jingle bells’, ‘Frosty the Snowman’, ‘Deck the halls’, ‘Little Donkey’ and ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’. The album also features a brand new Christmas song called 'Santa's Little Helpers' sung by Sophie Barker and accompanied by the London children's choir. You can't get more Christmassy than a kids' choir !
Some of the Christmas CDs I've got are overly cheesy or sound really old-fashioned (anyone for a bit of Bing Crosby ?!) but that's not the case for Snowflake. It sounds a bit like the type of songs you'd get on CBeebies which probably explains why the kids have so readily adopted it and sing and dance along happily. But even the adults can't help grinning and singing along when the kids falter on the words of Frosty the Snowman ! The arrangements are really jazzy and guaranteed to make you do a bit of armchair-dancing which will help to burn off some of those mince pies and Christmas cocktails !
All together now ... Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way ... !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £7.99
Snowflake is available from November 6th at Amazon.co.uk, Play.com and HMV
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