I want to live in a snow globe!
Well not really – you’d be forever brushing shredded polystyrene off your clothes for one thing – but Matt Wertz’s makes his magical tale of living in a hermetically sealed Christmas wonderland sound so beguiling, I am close to considering it. Just as soon as I figure out the whole miniaturisation thing anyway…
The title track of this joyously bouncy Christmas album neatly encapsulates the vibe of this album which is unmistakably happy. Matt Wertz loves the season and it shows in every last lyric and musical note, and it’s frankly a pleasure to go along for the ride with him.
The exuberance of Winter Wonderland and the aforementioned Snow Globe is sublimely balanced by the acoustic tenderness of Amy Grant’s Tennessee Christmas, and the intimate eggnog-sipping quiet contentment of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. While it is inherently an upbeat album, it uses the quiet tender moments well to evince a man at peace with himself and loving his life generally, but especially during the holidays. He captures a spirit of sublime joy so beautifully that even though I am in Australia which traditionally doesn’t do a wintery festive season all that well (although it’s so cold right now that you could be forgiven for thinking we’re considering giving it a red hit go!), I could imagine putting this album on, start the chestnuts roasting, and curl up with my beloved in front of a roaring fireplace.
It is that kind of Christmas album – a rare beast (and trust me so many artists don’t come close to capturing the soul-tingling joy of a proper Christmas album) that makes you believe the perfect mythical Christmas isn’t just possible but actually here. Like Michael Buble’s Christmas album, Matt Wertz’s effort captures, like lightning in a bottle, the spirit and joy of a Currier and Ives Christmas… and that isn’t easy.
The enrapturing quiet beauty of O Holy Night gives way to the cheerful bonhomie of an instrumental version of Sleigh Ride, which you can imagine playing as people waltz merrily along a snow covered street, gifts in hand, calling out happily to each other as they partake in all the magic of season.
There are one or two very minor missteps such as Christmas in the City which lacks a little special something but that’s a small quibble on an album that is beautiful, joyful, fun and downright exuberantly celebratory in equal measure, and largely consistently over the album.
If you want to capture a warm and fuzzy Christmas with the one you love, you can’t go wrong with Matt Wertz’s homage to the most wonderful season of all.