Kelly Clarkson "Wrapped in Red" album cover.
By Samira ShahbandyGeorge Washington High School
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's that time of year again! While drinking eggnog and decking the halls, why not listen to some festive new music?Inaugural "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson recently released her first Christmas CD, "Wrapped in Red." It's a festive CD, bound to get you in the mood for the holiday season!The album has five original songs, co-written by Clarkson. Among them are "Just for Now" and "Winter Dreams (Brandon's Song)."
"Just for Now" describes what it's like to forget the bad things and keep your head held high during the joyful time of year; it's very emotional. "Winter Dreams" is for Clarkson's new husband, Brandon Blackstock, who asked the 31-year-old singer to be his bride last December. (They married in October.)The album also contains many lovely arrangements of Christmas classics. Some of the songs Clarkson chose are "White Christmas," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Baby It's Cold Outside" (with Ronnie Dunn) and "Silent Night" (with Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire). Each arrangement is quite the treat, working with Clarkson's vocal abilities.Speaking of her abilities, Clarkson definitely shows off her vocal power on the album. Her song" Wrapped in Red" is a perfect example of this. From the quietest of notes to the loudest, she is always in control of her voice.One slight downside to the album is an arrangement of "Run Run Rudolph" that's a bit too festive and doesn't really fit with the album's main emotional theme. The rest of the songs are more heartfelt, whereas this one is very upbeat and just doesn't seem to mix with the others.Another Clarkson song, "4 Carats," is also a bit more upbeat, but in a respectful manner. The song, which feels like it could be a potential alternative to "Santa Baby," is about wanting a diamond ring from Santa. (Clarkson also ties in a little something about her engagement ring, mentioning a canary diamond.)"Wrapped in Red" is definitely a treat whether you're a fan of Clarkson or not. It brings a refreshing, festive feel that is perfect for this time of year. Overall, I recommend this album to anyone who is interested in listening to new Christmas music.