“Connie Talbot’s Christmas Album” – Connie Talbot

2 stars (out of 5)

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Connie Talbot’s Christmas AlbumWhere do you start with this?  You’ve got an 8-year old who can sing in tune (which is fairly impressive), she’s had some TV exposure and an album which has sold reasonably well, so let’s get a Christmas album out.  Is it something to keep Connie’s fans happy or a cynical cash-in on a time-limited phenomenon?

The album is a 3-way split between the traditional Christmas songs (“Silent Night”), swing versions of 50s/60s hits (“Let It Snow”) and a couple of 70s pop Christmas classics (“Merry Christmas Everybody” and “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday”).  Once you get over the cute factor, the Christmas hits (50s, 60s and 70s) don’t work because, although her voice is technically very good, there’s no emotional depth to any of the performances – it’s definitely not “A Christmas Gift For You” (Phil Spector’s finest hour?).

On a more positive note, when the songs play to Connie’s strengths of perfect pitch and a pure, clear soprano voicing (“Ave Maria” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem”) the result is powerful and suggests the direction she should probably be taking at the moment.

Is it a cash-in?  Well, 3 tracks appear on her previous album, “Over The Rainbow” so it’s not looking good so far. 

Should an 8-year old have 2 albums out, or should they be enjoying a bit of childhood?  You don’t have to look too far to spot burnt-out (and sometimes re-ignited) child stars – Jodie Foster, Drew Barrymore and you can ask your mum (or your nan) about Lena Zavaroni.

On one level, this is an 8–year old having fun doing something she’s really good at and making a bit of spending money at the same time, which is fine.  On another level, it’s exploitation of a talent with a short sell-by date – you make your choice.

Merry Christmas!