Christmas is a season of reverence, love, fun and wonderment. The reverence obviously refers to the holiday’s religious significance. The same, of course, can be said about the love aspect. After all, Christ’s birth is an expression of God’s love for humanity. Christmas is also a time when families share gifts as an expression of love and a time when more than a few engagement rings are slipped onto fingers. Christmas’s sense of fun and wonderment often comes from viewing the season from a child’s point a view.
Bunny Sigler manages to capture all of those elements on his CD When You’re In Love at Christmas Time. The record includes original tracks and covers of well-known and loved favorites. Sigler most creatively and poignantly captures that youthful sense of wonderment on the original “A Christmas Dream.” The tune is his recounting of a childhood dream that finds him helping Santa to guide the sleigh on a dark and snowy night when even Rudolph’s red nose is of no help. The cut includes every item on a child’s wish list – going on a great adventure, the ability to fly, helping Santa save Christmas and the gift of seeing departed loved ones return to sing Christmas carols with those left behind. “A Christmas Dream” is a magisterial and beautiful song.
Sigler includes reverence in his treatment of the religious numbers, most notably “Ave Maria,” which he sings as an operatic duet in Italian. “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” starts with Sigler’s soft tenor singing in front of an R&B influenced bass line that builds to an orchestral crescendo; it is an appropriate way to mark the King of Kings’ entry into the world.
Sigler’s captures the fun of the season with his swinging version of “Winter Wonderland,” while his R&B versions of “White Christmas, “The Christmas Song” and “Auld Lang Syne” are an eloquent merging soul and sentimentalism.
A lot of people wonder why secular artists make Christmas albums. However, Sigler’s When You’re In Love at Christmas Time reminds listeners that these artists understand and appreciate the holiday’s religious and cultural significance. When You’re In Love at Christmas Time gives Bunny Sigler an opportunity to reconnect with many of the songs he grew up singing in church. The album also provides him with a chance to create some new music and memories as well. The legendary Philadelphian makes the most of both chances on his solid holiday season effort. Recommended.
By Howard Dukes