Just as Shane Richie puts out a country album, genuine country music singer Darling puts out a Christmas album.
They’re all well-known tunes done well, so the only question is how you feel about a set of slow but intimate covers delivered by Darling’s soft and sweet vocals.
The album opens with an ok cover of Santa Baby, originally by Eartha Kitt (and never sung by Marilyn Monroe, apparently). White Christmas and Silent Night follow, played simply. Winter Wonderland sees the first sign of a band, but it’s low-key, with a country twist. Closer Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas is a rich, string-heavy version, probably the standout track.
It’s nice album but too polite and well-mannered, and a little unvaried. You’re more likely to hear it at Fortnum and Mason than blasting out in Aldi; by the end we wanted Noddy bellowing “Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s Chrrrrrrrrrrristmas!” to lighten to mood.