Courtesy: Yellow Entertainment
Greg Page is one of the most iconic figures in the world of children’s music and entertainment. One of the original members of the beloved children’s entertainment group The Wiggles, Page rose to fame as the original “Yellow Wiggle.” He spent roughly fifteen years with the world-renowned group until his retirement in 2006 due to health compilations. While he might have stepped out of the limelight his career did not end. He released his second solo album Let It Be Me in 2012 and even rejoined his fellow entertainers in The Wiggles for a few months before bowing out once more in mid-2012 and proceeding to join the cast of the children’s program Butterscotch’s Playground, which he helped develop alongside the show’s creators. Now in 2015, Page’s fans will be happy to know that next month, he will release another new album, an album of Christmas tunes called Here Comes Christmas. The album will be released November 24th. The hour-long, twenty-six track record is an interesting addition to the annual barrage of cookie cutter Christmas albums. That is because over the course of those songs, most of which are covers of traditional Christmas carols, Page breaks the all too rigid mold created by so many mainstream pop stars in their holiday offerings. This will be discussed at more length shortly. It is just one reason that young listeners will enjoy this recording. Another reason that audiences (including older audiences) will enjoy Page’s new record is his trio of new compositions that open the record. They collectively serve as the compilation’s anchor. The reason for that will be discussed at more length later. Last but not least worth noting of the new record is the inclusion of a handful of songs from the new Butterscotch’s Playground DVD to round out the CD. The songs are not Christmas-themed compositions, obviously. But parents and children alike will still agree on their enjoyment. That in mind, the inclusion of those songs alongside Page’s own original holiday-themed works and his re-workings of the more well-known carols makes a record that in whole proves to be an enjoyable new collection of holiday tunes for the whole family.
Here Comes Christmas is a welcome and enjoyable new collection of holiday-themed songs that listeners of all ages will enjoy. Regardless of age, listeners in whole will agree that it is a welcome break from the cookie cutter holiday covers albums that are churned out every year by all the mainstream pop artists. The main reason that it is such a welcome change of pace is that the nineteen covers featured among the album’s twenty-six total songs feature arrangements of those classic holiday tunes that have rarely if ever been crafted before by artists of any genre. Page has taken, in those songs, works that are commonly aimed at audiences of all ages and directly aimed them at his younger listeners. That is evident through the songs’ arrangements both stylistically speaking and in regards to their instrumental makeups. ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,’ the first of the album’s covers is a prime example of this. Speaking in terms of the song’s stylistic approach, Page approaches it with something of an over-the-top delivery that one might expect from a children’s educational DVD. Of course it makes sense being that Page is a trained educator. A side by side comparison of Page’s take on the song and the original reveals the drastic stylistic change. The song’ apparent wholly synthesized instrumentation shows even more what sets the song apart from the original composition and its many different mainstream renditions. That synthesized instrumentation includes horns, strings, and bells among other instruments. Much the same can be said of Page’s rendition of ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and ‘Frosty The Snowman.’ For all of the kid-friendly arrangements featured among Page’s nineteen total overs, it would be unfair to say that they are all so directly aimed at his younger audiences. His take on ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ conjures thoughts of The Brian Setzer Orchestra while the his take on ‘I Saw Three Ships’ actually does generate something of a sea shanty sound thanks to Page’s vocal delivery while the doo-wop vibe presented in the song’s verses gives a wholly different sound within itself. That it could present two wholly different sounds in one song and still be entertaining speaks volumes. Perhaps most surprising of the covers is the full on re-imagining of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas.’ Page has replaced all of the traditional gifts presented in the original composition and replaced them with animals, including goldfish in the place of gold rings, a goat on the first day (whose milk is used to make cheese), and horses among many others. It becomes a virtual farmyard full of holiday gifts that will surprise listeners just as much as it will entertain them. It is just one more example of why the covers featured in Page’s new holiday record do plenty to make this collection an interesting (and surprisingly welcome) break from the standard model used by so many other artists. The noted covers alongside those not noted make for plenty of reason for listeners of all ages to check out this record. They are only part of the reason that families will want to check out this record, too. The original compositions that open the record give listeners just as much reason to give it a chance.
The classic holiday covers that make up the majority of Page’s new record make for plenty of reason for audiences of all ages to check out this new compilation. They are just part of the reason that listeners will want to give the record a chance, though. The original compositions that open the disc are collectively another reason that listeners of all ages will enjoy Page’s latest collection of songs. That is because all three of the songs are more clearly aimed at the whole family than Page’s young audiences alone. Ironically the first of the songs, the album’s title track is sung from the vantage point of a child. He sings against the happy sounds of the song’s guitars, bells, drums, and keyboards, “We’ve waited all this year/Seems so long it’s been away/We hope we’ve made his list/So we see him Christmas Day/With every moment/The time is drawing near/And soon we know it/The yuletide will be here.” The excitement of the children on Christmas Day is just as expertly translated both musically and lyrically through the sudden burst of joyful energy exuded just before the chorus and the chorus itself. On another note, the more poppy sound of ‘Christmas Bells’ is just as enjoyable alongside its lyrical content, which celebrates the annual ringing of the Christmas bells. If those two songs are not enough for listeners, then the celebratory calypso-tinged dance sound of ‘It’s Christmas’ is sure to get listeners of all ages dancing, singing, and smiling. All three songs set against Page’s extensive collection of covers makes Here Comes Christmas even more interesting of a listen for anyone wanting a break from the same old same old holiday music collections. Even taken into consideration together, all twenty-two songs are still not all that makes this record so interesting. The bonus songs included at the record’s end in themselves give listeners a break from getting worn out on holiday cheer.
Here Comes Christmas features a grand total of twenty-two holiday tunes throughout the body of its hour-long run time. For all of the holiday cheer that the songs in question offer listeners, they are not the only songs featured in this record. In an apparent effort to keep from overwhelming listeners with that holiday cheer Page has also included four bonus songs from the new Butterscotch’s Playground DVD. None of the songs have any link to the holidays whatsoever. ‘Everybody Dance’ is self-explanatory. It is a fun, celebratory piece that is certain to get young listeners moving around. ‘At The Fire Station’ plays on children’s fascination with all things fire station-related. ‘Knead It’ is just as self-explanatory as is ‘Get Down Low and Go, Go, Go.’ Each of the bonus compositions is enjoyable in its own right. And after the expansive amount of holiday cheer spread across the majority of Page’s new record, it can’t be denied that they are just as much of a welcome break in their own right. They bar listeners from feeling overwhelmed with holiday cheer, which is never a bad thing. Taking this into account, these four songs set alongside the rest of the album’s compositions make Here Comes Christmas a record that is in whole one of the more interesting and welcome of this year’s annual crop of musical holiday offerings.
Here Comes Christmas is one of the more interesting and welcome of this year’s crop of musical holiday offerings. For that matter, it is one of the more interesting and welcome musical holiday offerings in recent memory. That is because it balances a handful of original compositions aimed at audiences of all ages with an expansive and original collection of covers aimed mainly at younger audiences for an experience that is sure to get listeners of all ages well into the holiday spirit. The bonus non-holiday compositions that round out the record will keep listeners from feeling overwhelmed with holiday cheer by bringing listeners back to Earth so to speak. The combination of all twenty-six songs makes the hour-long musical experience that is Here Comes Christmas a record that every family will want to have in their household this holiday season. It will be available in stores and online on November 24th. More information on this and other recordings from Greg Page is available online now along with all of Greg’s latest news at:
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