Music: Simply Christmas

Released: November 11, 2016

By: Leslie Odom, Jr.

The Tony-award winning lead of Hamilton changes gears on this Christmas album going from the fast-paced rap of the musical to a slowed-down jazz take here.

Despite being a mixture of holiday standards and newer songs, every song feels different than you’ve heard it before. Odom reinvents the songs you thought you knew – like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “First Noel” – and makes you pay attention to the lyrics again.

Odom also puts a spin on two different songs from The Sound of Music. He does a solo rendition of “My Favorite Things,” but really shines on “Edelweiss,” which he does alongside his Waitress-star wife Nicolette Robinson. Their version challenges the Julie Andrews-Christopher Plummer version from the film.

Final say: While not an obvious choice upfront, you’ll definitely want to add this to your holiday music collection. ★★★★☆

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