Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A 13.3″ Laptop

 

 

 

 

Review

 

I had eagerly been awaiting the new Mid-2012 MacBook Pro upgrade primarily because of the move to the new Intel processor, “Ivy Bridge.” The 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 dual-core processor just makes this MacBook Pro fly. And it runs much cooler than its predecessors. I had my laptop running while on my lap for a couple hours and the bottom case was barely warm. Fan noise was not noticeable whatsoever. To be honest, I don’t even know if the fan was operating or not, it was that quiet.

The aluminum unibody case has remained pretty much unchanged for several years. In fact, my previous MacBook Pro, a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4GB of RAM has the identical case that this new laptop has… it is designated as Model No: A1278 if you look at the bottom of the laptop case.

What Apple threw into the mix, which made my decision of which new Apple laptop to purchase more difficult, was the addition of the Retina Display MacBook. Initially I was tormented with making the correct decision of which computer to purchase. After I weighed the differences and factored in the cost, it became clear to me that for my use, the 13″ MacBook Pro was the way to go rather than an Air or Retina Display MacBook Pro. Here are my reasons…

-The Retina Display MacBook lacks an optical drive. For me, that was a critical feature as I am a Mobile DJ and still rip a lot of CD’s to my computer. I did not want to have to carry around an external optical drive so having the internal optical drive on the new MacBook Pro was key.

-The Retina Display MacBook does not have an Ethernet port. Again, this won’t affect all people, but for me it was an essential feature that I use all the time. I wasn’t ready to give up my dedicated ethernet connectivity port.

-The Retina Display MacBook was priced out of my comfort zone. It’s a phenomenal computer but I just could not justify the price.

-The Air doesn’t offer the disk space that I need nor the right combination of ports.

Honestly, the display on the 13.3″ MacBook Pro is gorgeous. I can see where a photographer might enjoy the Retina Display, but for me, the 1280×800 resolution of the screen on this laptop is perfect. The display is bright, very bright, sharp and has excellent viewing from side to side. I’m a little conflicted with the glossy screen, but I think I have grudgingly accepted it for the most part. In most situations I find it nicer than a glare-free screen. For some situations however, it is not the best because of the reflections on the screen of surrounding lights and such. You must remember that while reducing glare on a screen might make it easier to view in certain situations by reducing reflections of light and surroundings, by its nature the anti-glare will reduce sharpness of the screen image. By having the glossy screen you have an amazingly bright, clear and sharp image that is just beautiful to view.

I had also considered getting an early 2012 refurbished MacBook Pro. That was my second-best option. But for the small difference in price, I would not have gotten USB 3.0 ports and that was important to me, as well as getting Thunderbolt. Admittedly, there are not yet many peripherals that utilize Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 but that is certainly going to change quite rapidly. USB 3.0 is 10 times faster than USB 2.0 and offers throughput of up to 5Gbps. Thunderbolt is even faster and allows daisy-chaining of monitors and other devices. This new MacBook Pro also has an upgraded facetime camera. It is now 720p HD and that’s pretty awesome.

Firewire 800 is still included on this MacBook Pro. Undoubtedly, Firewire is getting towards the end of its lifespan but many videographers are still using video cameras that use Firewire and I also have external hard drives using firewire, so this is still useful for me.

The newly added Tunderbolt port is also useable as a mini-display port and you can easily obtain adapters to enable you to hook up to DVI, VAG and HDMI. I do miss not having a dedicated HDMI port, but at least it is possible to get an adapter to fill that need.

The Lion and soon to be released Mountain Lion operating system has garnered a lot of comments both positive and negative. Personally I have not experienced any issues with Lion. The integration with iCloud is fantastic and allows me to keep my contacts, address book, bookmarks all in sync across all my devices (iMac, iPhone, iPod Touch and another MacBook Pro.)

The iLife suite of applicatons included with the computer are excellent. iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand are tightly integrated and work well. There is room for improvement, to be sure, but I use iPhoto and iMovie all the time and it is an amazingly capable duo.

If you’re considering a MacBook Pro for the first time and are coming from the PC world, welcome. You will have a little adjusting to do but it’s really easy and you will probably be impressed with how straightforward the operating system is. It just works. I can’t even think of when I had a crash or freeze.

I’ve not yet reached the 7-hours mark for battery life, but still, I’ve been getting at least 5 hours plus so no complaints.

If you are considering the new MacBook Pro and you’re already a Mac user then you will welcome the addition of a much faster processor, the addition of Thunderbolt and USB 3.0.

I am really liking my new MacBook Pro and with 8GB of RAM, and the new i7 Processor running at 2.9GHZ (turbo-boost to 3.6GHz) you will be very happy with the performance.

Regarding the 8GB RAM memory maximum for this MacBook Pro, it is interesting to note that Crucial sells a 16GB RAM kit for this particular model. Despite this, Apple does not acknowledge that the computer will accept 16GB of RAM. I called Apple Technical Support to ask about this and I was told that even though the computer may accept 16GB of RAM and seem to run without any problems with 16GB of RAM, the full amount of RAM may not actually be used by the MacBook Pro. It’s kind of hard to say what the implications are of adding 16GB of RAM when Apple says the maximum is 8GB for this model. What will happen though is if you have any issues with the computer and Apple discovers that you’ve put 16GB of RAM in it, you could be denied service under the warranty. So I guess I’d be happy with 8GB of RAM until this issue gets more clarification, either by benchmark tests that show an improvement in performance or a firmware update or some acknowledgment from Apple approving the option of 16GB of RAM. I”d like to think that if Apple wanted to make as much money as possible that they would offer this computer with an 16GB option. Since they don’t, there must be a technical reason why.

I’ve been using a protective case for my MacBook Pro and I recommend it. It’s priced very fairly, comes in a variety of colors and has worked really well for me. It even lets the Apple Logo shine through the case. Here is a link to the Red color version of the case. RED iPearl mCover® Hard Shell Case for A1278 Aluminum Unibody MacBook Pro 13-inch (RED color)

UPDATE: July 1, 2012 – I’ve been reading reports online about the fact that the new Retina Display MacBook Pro has pushed the graphics handling capabilities of the computer to the max. This has resulted in some problems that are only just beginning to manifest themselves, such as sluggish screen draw in some situations, slow frame rates in other situations and image retention issues.

In other words, by pushing the limits, as Apple frequently does (and I’m not suggesting that that’s a bad thing) early adopters are paying the price. So I’m feeling even better about choosing this particular model rather than spending significantly more for the Retina Display MacBook Pro and having to deal with the first generation issues.

UPDATE: July 5, 2012 – Note to PC users considering the switch to a Mac. Don’t be intimidated to switch. Mac OSX is a fantastic operating system and not difficult to learn at all. But there are definitely some subtle differences between the PC and Mac user interface and experience. I would strongly suggest getting a good book such asSwitching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Lion Edition. It’s an excellent overview of what you’ll need to know regarding the Mac experience and the Lion operating system. I use both Windows 7 and Mac OSX and own both a PC laptop and Mac laptop and desktop machines. I consider Macs to be my primary computer because of my familiarity with them and their ease of use. However, a helpful book will ease your transition and eliminate the guesswork.

UPDATE: August 24, 2012 – I’ve upgraded my OS to Mountain Lion, 10.8, and have been running it for about 2 weeks. I have not noticed any issues and the upgrade went very smoothly. Some of the new features are great. I particularly like the dictation feature that lets you speak while in any application that accepts text input and the MBP will automatically and accurately convert your speech to text. The new way that messages are handled is very similar to IOS and I like it. Some users are reporting less battery life but I have not noticed any degradation in battery life on my comptuer.

Kindle Fire HD 7″

 

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World’s most advanced 7″ tablet
  • 1280×800 HD display with polarizing filter and anti-glare technology for rich color and deep contrast from any viewing angle
  • Exclusive Dolby audio and dual-driver stereo speakers for immersive, virtual surround sound
  • World’s first tablet with dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi for 40% faster downloads and streaming (compared to iPad 3)
  • High performance 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor with Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core for fast and fluid performance
  • Over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and popular apps and games such asFacebookNetflixTwitterHBO GOPandora, and Angry Birds Space
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  • Kindle FreeTime – a free, personalized tablet experience just for kids on the Kindle Fire HD. Set daily screen limits, and give access to appropriate content for each child
  •  Prime Instant Video – unlimited, instant streaming of thousands of popular movies and TV shows
  •  Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – Kindle owners can choose from more than 180,000 books to borrow for free with no due dates, including over 100 current and formerNew York Times best sellers

 

Madagascar 3 – Europe’s most wanted – DVD

 

TIME Magazine calls MADAGASCAR 3 “A three dream circus. A real fun movie.” (Richard Corliss) “Hilarious! The best ‘Madagascar’ yet!” (Pete Hammond, BOXOFFICE Magazine) “Charming and very funny.” (Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun Times)

  • Starring: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock
  • Directed by: Eric Darnell
  • Runtime: 1 hour 34 minutes
  • Release year: 2012
  • Studio: Paramount

 

 

When My Heart Finds Christmas / Harry Connick, Jr

 

Her er en smakebit

 

 

 

WHEN MY HEART FINDS CHRISTMAS is also available in a 3-CD set with SNOWFALL and THIS IS THE TIME.

For this Christmas jazz album, Harry Connick, Jr. emphasizes his vocals (his piano playing is quite secondary) as he sings ten familiar Christmas songs plus four of his somewhat forgettable originals while joined by a big band, a string section, and background singers. The results are reasonably pleasing, but of little interest to jazz listeners. ~ Scott Yanow

Recorded at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, California in July 1993.

Personnel includes: Harry Connick Jr. (vocals, arranger, piano); Brad Leali, Will Campbell (alto saxophone); Jerry Weldon, Ned Goold (tenor saxophone); Dave Schumacher (baritone saxophone); Roger Ingram, Dan Miller, Jeremy Davenport (trumpet); Mark Mullins, Craig Klein, Lucien Barbarin, Joe Barati (trombone); Louis Ford (clarinet); Bruce Dukow (violin); Dan Neufeld (viola); Dennis Karmazyn, David Low (cello); Russell Malone (guitar); Chuck Domanico, Ben Wolfe (bass); Steve Schaeffer (drums).

 

Spor

  1. “Sleigh Ride” (Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish) – 3:44
  2. “When My Heart Finds Christmas” (Harry Connick, Jr.) – 4:32
  3. “(It Must’ve Been Ol’) Santa Claus” (Connick) – 4:39
  4. “The Blessed Dawn Of Christmas Day” (Connick) – 4:40
  5. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” (Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne) – 2:34
  6. “The Little Drummer Boy” (Katherine K. Davis, Henry Onorati, Harry Simeone) – 3:41
  7. “Ave Maria” (Franz Schubert, Sir Walter Scott) – 4:35
  8. “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” (Ballard Macdonald, Leon Jessel) – 3:27
  9. “What Child Is This?” (William Dix, 16th Century English melody) – 3:11
  10. “Christmas Dreaming” (Irving Gordon, Lester Lee) – 2:40
  11. “I Pray On Christmas” (Connick) – 3:48
  12. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (Johnny Marks) – 2:31
  13. “O Holy Night” (Adolphe Adam, Placide Cappeau) – 6:45
  14. “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” (Frank Loesser) – 4:49

Merry Christmas / Mariah Carey

 

Her er en smakebit.

 

 

 

Recorded at the Hit Factory, New York.

Producers: Mariah Carey, Loris Holland, Walter Afanasieff.

Composers: Mariah Carey; Walter Afanasieff.

Personnel: Mariah Carey (vocals, background vocals); Dann Huff (guitar); Lenny Pickett (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Greg Phillinganes, Loris Holland (piano); Walter Afanasieff (keyboards, synthesizer, drums, tambourine, programming, drum programming); Kirk Lyons, Randy Jackson (bass guitar); David Cole, Robert Clivillés (drums, percussion, programming); Omar Hakim, Bernard Davis, Buddy Williams (drums); David Silliman (percussion); Dan Shea, Gary Cirimelli (programming); Cindy Mizelle, Shanrae Price, Kelly Price, Melonie Daniels (background vocals).

Audio Mixer: Mick Guzauski.

Recording information: The Hit Factory, New York, NY.

Photographer: Daniela Federici.

Arrangers: Loris Holland; Mariah Carey; Walter Afanasieff.

Personnel: Mariah Carey (vocals); Dann Huff (guitar); Lenny Pickett (saxophone); Loris Holland (piano, Hammond B-3 organ); Greg Phillinganes (piano); Walter Afanasieff (Hammond B-3 organ, keyboards, synthesizer, bass, tambourine, claps, programming); Randy Jackson, Kirk Lyons (bass); Buddy Williams, Bernard Davis, Omar Hakim (drums); Dave Silliman (percussion); Gary Cirimelli, Dan Shea, Robert Clivilles, David Cole (programming); Melonie Daniels, Shanrae Price, Kelly Price, Cindy Mizzelle (background vocals).

Spor

 

“Silent Night” Fr. Josef Mohr, Franz X. Gruber Mariah Carey, Walter Afanasieff 3:41
2. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” Carey, Afanasieff Carey, Afanasieff 4:01
3. “O Holy Night” Adolphe Adam Carey, Loris Holland 4:27
4. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Phil Spector Carey, Afanasieff 2:35
5. “Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)” Carey, Afanasieff Carey, Afanasieff 4:32
6. “Joy to the World” George Frideric Handel, Lowell Mason, Isaac Watts Carey, Afanasieff 4:21
7. “Jesus Born on This Day” Carey, Afanasieff Carey, Holland 3:43
8. “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” John Frederick Coots, Haven Gillespie Carey, Afanasieff 3:24
9. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” / “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” Charles Wesley, Felix Mendelssohn Carey, Holland 3:01
10. “Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child” Traditional Carey, Afanasieff 4:26
11. “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” (Appears as a bonus track on the 2005 DualDisc re-release. Also on non-US pressings.) Traditional Carey, Afanasieff 1:18
12. “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (Anniversary Mix)” (Appears as a bonus track on the 2005 DualDisc re-release. It is a cover of the Jackson 5 version of the song.) John Frederick Coots, Haven Gillespie

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas / Mannheim Steamroller

 

Mannheim Steamroller, led by that inimitable and tireless musical observer of holidays Chip Davis, has a plethora of Christmas albums under its belt. This 2007 release is another quality entry in the canon, featuring spirited instrumental versions of classics like the disco-fied “Frosty the Snowman” and a sweet, cocktail-piano rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Johnny Mathis provides gorgeous guest-vocals on the title track, and Olivia Newton-John also makes a lovely appearance, utilizing an operatic voice that fans may be surprised to hear.

Composer: Chip Davis.

Mannheim Steamroller: Paul Winter (soprano saxophone); Tom Hartig (alto saxophone); Arnie Roth (unknown instrument); Chip Davis, Glen Smith, Bobby Jenkins.

Personnel: Mannheim Steamroller (bass guitar); Gene Nery (vocals); Glen Smith (12-string guitar); Kathleen Brauer, Teresa Fream, Clara Lindner, Arnie Roth, Michael Shelton, Jeff Yang (violin); Patrick Brennan Ensemble, Marlou Johnston, Keith Conant, Robert Swan (viola); Judy Stone, Larry Glazer , Mark Brandfonbrener, Lawrence D.

 

Spor

  1. Deck the Halls” – 3:43
  2. We Three Kings” (Hopkins) – 3:45
  3. Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella” – 2:32
  4. Coventry Carol” – 2:38
  5. Good King Wenceslas” – 3:29
  6. “Christmas Sweet: Wassail, Wassail” – 2:20
  7. “Christmas Sweet: Carol Of the Birds” (Bas-Quercy) – 2:03
  8. “Christmas Sweet: I Saw Three Ships” – 1:28
  9. “Christmas Sweet: “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen” – 1:37
  10. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” – 4:19
  11. Stille Nacht” (Silent Night) (Gruber) – 5:26

A Fresh Aire Christmas / Mannheim Steamroller

 

Also available in the CHRISTMAS COLLECTION box set with CHRISTMAS EXTRAORDINARE, CHRISTMAS and CHRISTMAS IN THE AIRE.

To the outstanding ensemble sound of Mannheim Steamroller, Davis adds the majestic fanfare of a brass choir in this second seasonal recording gem. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” resounds with vibrant glory that only brass instruments can evoke, while the enchanting “Little Drummer Boy” brings us the magic of Santa’s workshop… ~ MusD

Personnel: Chip Davis (vocals, percussion, wind); Liz Westphalen (vocals); Jo Maggs, Nancy-Jane Thompson, Mary Mure, Mary Seers , Donna Deam, Clare Wallace, Caroline Ashton (soprano); Richard Wilson, Jeremy Taylor, Paul Gordon, Harvey Brough (tenor); Russell Watson, James Ottaway, Christopher Purves, Benjamin Thompson , Patrick Lee-Browne, Charles Pott (bass voice); Ron Cooley (guitar); Mary Walter (harp); Eric Hansen (lute, trumpet); Helen Nightengale, Richard Lohmann, David Myford, Ken Peller, Florentina Ramniceanu, Peter LaBella, Everett Zlatoff-Mirsky, Wendy Evans, Steve Shipps, Phyllis Duncan, Grace Granata, Peter Hildner, Deborah Fuller, Gail Salvatori, Adrian Gola, Scott Shoemaker, Blair Milton, Tom Hall , Arnie Roth, Roger Moulton (violin); Margo Romig-Motycka, John Bartholomew, Judy Divis, Judith Ablon, Daniel Strba, Linda Alosko, Martin Abrams, Robert Swan (viola); Margaret Wilmeth, Gary Stucka, Holly Stout, Susan LaBella, Felix Wurman, Philip Blum, John Sharpe, David Low (cello); Willis Ann Ross (flute); Bob Jenkins (oboe); George Vosburgh (trumpet, piccolo trumpet); Barbara Butler (piccolo trumpet); Norman Schweikert, David Kappy, Jonathon Boen (French horn); Charles Vernon, Ed Kocher (trombone); Martin Rex (tuba); Jackson Berkey (keyboards); M.A.C. (midi); Doug Waddell, Russ Knutson (percussion).

 

Spor

  1. “Hark! the Herald Trumpets Sing”
  2. “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing”
  3. “Veni Veni (O Come, O Come Emmanuel)”
  4. “The Holly and the Ivy”
  5. “Little Drummer Boy”
  6. “Still, Still, Still”
  7. “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming”
  8. “In Dulci Jubilo”
  9. “Greensleeves”
  10. “Carol of the Bells”
  11. “Traditions of Christmas”
  12. “Cantique de Noel (O Holy Night)”

 

Christmas in the Aire / Mannheim Steamroller

 

 

Christmas in the Aire is arguably the greatest Mannheim Steamroller holiday record, thanks to lovely versions of “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Joy to the World,” “Pat-a-Pan,” “Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” ~ Rodney Batdorf

Mannheim Steamroller: Arnie Roth (violin, alto vielle); Jackson Berkey (harpischord); Chip Davis (hammered dulcimer, recorder, cornamus); Bobby Jenkins (oboe).

Renaissance Le Doo Dah Band: Arnie Roth (alto vielle); Ron Cooley (lute); Gregory Clinton (cello); Chip Davis (recorder, cornamus, hammered dulcimer, drums); Jackson Berkey (harpsichord).

Engineers: Brian Ackley, Dave Cwirko, Hank Neuberger, Norbert Grutzmann.

Additional personnel: Dr. Oberschelp (conductor); Arnie Roth (concertmaster); Michele Lekas, Nissane Howell, Katherine Hughes, Teresa Fream, Michael Shelton, Edgar Muenzer, Clara Lindner, Mihaela Ionescu, Liba Shacht, Ronald Satkiewicz, Joyce Nob, Joseph Golan, Roger Moulton, Florentina Ramniceanu, Pauli Ewing, Ruben Gonzalez, Sylvia Morris, Marlou Johnston, Elena Sherbanesco, Melanie Kupchynsky (violin); Catherine Brubaker, Keith Conant, Patrick Brennan, Peter Slowik, Virginia Barron (viola); Mark Brandfonbrener, Kim Scholes, Bill Cernota, Richard Hirschl, Gary Stucka (cello); Greg Sarchet, Collins Trier, Larry Gray, Leonid Finkelshteyn, Aventino Caovetti (acoustic bass); Steve Hartman (harp); George Vosburgh (piccolo, trumpet); John Kness (herald trumpet); Dale Clevenger, Alice Render Clevenger (French horn); Bielefelder Kinderchor Westphalia (chorus).

Spor

  1. “Joy to the World” – 3:36
  2. “Joseph Dear, Oh Joseph Mine” – 3:08
  3. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” – 3:11
  4. “Herbei, oh ihr Gläubigen (Oh Come All Ye Faithful)” – 3:30
  5. “Pat-A-Pan” – 4:48
  6. “O Little Town of Bethlehem” – 3:55
  7. “Angels We Have Heard on High” – 3:53
  8. “Gagliarda” – 3:00
  9. “Los Peces en el Rio” – 3:50
  10. “Christmas Lullaby” – 4:06
  11. “Kling, Glöckchen” – 1:46
  12. “Jingle Bells” – 4:28

 

These Are Special Times / Celine Dion

 

Personnel includes: Celine Dion (vocals); Dion Family (vocals); Peter Zizzo (guitar, programming); Bryan Adams (acoustic & electric guitars, bass); Kamil Rustam (acoustic guitar); Larry Salzman, Marc Shulman, Ira Siegel, Chieli Minucci, John Chiodini, Michael Thompson (guitar); Vancouver Orchestra (strings); Richie Cannata (saxophone); Bobby Franceschini, Bill Harris (alto saxophone); David Foster (piano, keyboards); Diana Krall, Shane Keister (piano); Loris Holland (Hammond B-3 organ); Phil Western (keyboards); Heather Hinton (organ); Tom Rainer (synthesizer); Chuck Domanico (bass); John Robinson, Shawn Pelton (drums); Bashiri Johnson (percussion); Steve Skinner (keyboard & drum programming).
Producers: David Foster, Ric Wake, Bryan Adams, R. Kelly.

Engineers includes: Felipe Elgueta, Randy Staub, Phil Western.

“The Prayer” was nominated for the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s).

 

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Spor

. “O Holy Night” Traditional David Foster 5:21
2. “Don’t Save It All for Christmas Day” Peter Zizzo, Ric Wake, Celine Dion Wake 4:37
3. “Blue Christmas” Jay Johnson, Bill Hayes Foster 3:48
4. “Another Year Has Gone By” Bryan Adams, Eliot Kennedy Adams 3:24
5. “The Magic of Christmas Day” (God Bless Us Everyone) Dee Snider Wake 4:17
6. “Ave Maria” Franz Schubert Foster 4:55
7. “Adeste Fideles” (O Come All Ye Faithful) Traditional Foster 4:43
8. “The Christmas Song” (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) Mel Tormé, Robert Wells Foster 4:13
9. “The Prayer” (Duet with Andrea Bocelli) Carole Bayer Sager, Foster, Alberto Testa, Tony Renis Foster, Renis, Bayer Sager 4:29
10. “Brahms’ Lullaby” Johannes Brahms Foster 3:32
11. “Christmas Eve” Maria Christensen, Curtis Frasca Wake 4:16
12. “These Are the Special Times” Diane Warren Foster 4:08
13. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” John Lennon, Yoko Ono Wake 4:14
14. “I’m Your Angel” (Duet with R. Kelly) R. Kelly R. Kelly 5:31
15. “Feliz Navidad” José Feliciano Wake, Humberto Gatica 3:40
16. “Les cloches du hameau” Brahms Wake 3:10

Noël / Josh Groban

 

Only his fourth studio album, NOEL finds Josh Groban already tackling that canonical mainstay of the adult contemporary singer, the Christmas album. As always, NOEL is a masterfully performed set, balanced neatly between pop standards and the more operatic material that showcases Groban’s roots. Interestingly, he sounds best on the most familiar holiday standards, like “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and Mel Torme’s “The Christmas Song,” both of which he invests with casual, jazzy phrasing, providing a welcome disinclination for the usual Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby homages that many other young singers in the style fall into. Even this early into his career, Groban clearly has a deeply held sense of who he is as a singer and interpreter, and this lovely collection is proof that he’s one of the most exciting adult contemporary stars to appear in ages.

 

Spor

  1. “Silent Night” – 4:11
  2. “Little Drummer Boy” – 4:20 (featuring Guitarist Andy McKee and Gigi Hadid)
  3. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas with Messages from real soldiers and voice by Gigi Hadid” – 4:15
  4. “Ave Maria” – 5:17
  5. “Angels We Have Heard on High” – 3:32 (duet with Brian McKnight)
  6. “Thankful” – 4:50
  7. “The Christmas Song” – 3:54
  8. “What Child Is This?” – 3:53
  9. “The First Noël” – 4:34 (duet with Faith Hill)
  10. “Petit Papa Noël” – 4:05
  11. “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” – 4:13
  12. “Panis Angelicus” – 4:19
  13. “O Come All Ye Faithful” – 4:38 (with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir)
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