Album Review: WINTER WONDERLAND by Sarah Darling

Sarah Darling WINTER WONDERLAND Album Artwork

Sarah Darling brings a country twist to festive classics with WINTER WONDERLAND

With just six weeks left until Christmas, US country music singer Sarah Darling is getting into the Christmas spirit with the release of her new album WINTER WONDERLAND.

Heralded as one of country music’s breakout performers, Darling first shot to fame in 2003 when she appeared as a top-three finalist on reality television show THE ENTERTAINER. Since then, 34 year old has accumulated over a million downloads from fans worldwide and supported some of country’s biggest singers including Carrie Underwood, Kacey Musgraves, Vince Gill and Tim McGraw.

WINTER WONDERLAND is Darling’s fourth studio album and follows the release of DREAM COUNTRY earlier this year. The eight-track LP features a mixture of traditional and modern festive classics, all performed in the unique Darling style.

The holiday album kicks off with a stunning version of SANTA BABY, the tongue-in-cheek classic originally sung by Eartha Kitt. Stripping back the big band/jazz sound to deliver a smoother, more modern sound, Darling’s soft, sweet vocals bring new warmth to the hit and immediately sets the tone for the rest of the album.

WHITE CHRISTMAS and SILENT NIGHT follow with their simple yet beautiful string and piano arrangements allowing Darling’s delicate vocals to shine through on the tracks. THE CHRISTMAS SONG has also been giving a new lease of life thanks to a new arrangement.

Fans of Darling’s country roots should check out the much-loved favourite WINTER WONDERLAND which has been given a distinctive country twist, as well as the cover of Joni Mitchell’s RIVER which also lends itself well to the country genre.

I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is also worth a listen with Darling bringing the track to life with its country-style arrangement and stunning vocal performance.

But the stand out track is the closing number HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS with Darling retaining the classic feel while totally making the track her own.

Whether you’re a fan or country or not, WINTER WONDERLAND is sure to get you in the festive mood. Darling has chosen a good selection of songs, all of which flow well together and transport the listener to a magical place of holiday contentment and cheer. A wonderful holiday album with a country twist.

5 out of 5 stars

WINTER WONDERLAND by Sarah Darling* is released on 17 November 2017

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