Who doesn’t enjoy a good holiday song to put you in the mood for all things Christmas — the festivities, family and friends and remembering the real reason for the season. From classics like The Temptations’ “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” to Donnie Hathaway’s “This Christmas” to Kem’s more reverent “Glorify the King,” this is the music that keeps us bouyed throughout the season and right into the New Year. Right — the two-time Grammy Award®-nominated Motown artist KEM’s first holiday album, What Christmas Means is making its mark on the list of holiday standards.
Rolling out was recently invited to the video taping in Atlanta to experience history in the making, and get a first listen at what fans are in for. What we got was more than a mere music video … it was a celebration in song of love on every level.
“I think people will be pleasantly surprised at how sensual and romantic this album is, considering it’s a holiday record. Christmas is a holiday of being warm and cozy with the one you love … I believe it can be even more romantic and intimate than Valentine’s Day. My Christmas album is the best music I have recorded to date, and my hope is that people will be playing it for years to come,” explained Kem with intensity.
Earlier this year, the charismatic singer made his second trip to South Africa, his largest international fan base outside of the U.S., for a pair of sold-out converts at Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg. While visiting, he was presented with gold record plaques by Universal Music South Africa for his first two Motown albums, KEMISTRY (released 2002) and ALBUM II (2005).
What Christmas Means is the fourth Motown release by the lifelong Detroiter, and the 10-song album with five original Christmas compositions and five traditional holiday classics is nothing less than stellar.
What Christmas Means features the following tracks: Glorify the King”; “What Christmas Means”;“A Christmas Song for You”; “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”; “Christmas Time Is Here”; “The Christmas Song”; “Be Mine for Christmas (feat. Ledisi)”; “Merry Christmas Baby”; “We Three Kings”; and “Doo Wop Christmas (That’s What Christmas Is All About).”
The album is highlighted by the duet with Verve recording artist, Ledisi, on “Be Mine For Christmas,” co-written by KEM and new collaborator Melanie Rutherford. The album also includes orchestra arrangements by Motown legend, Paul Reiser. –roz edward