A ‘Dreary Crawl’: A Review of Chris Kamara’s …And A Happy New Year

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Believeable, Jeff!

Kammy's second attempt at a Christmas classic will fail to jingle your bells.

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There’s been a mediocre sequel to a novelty Christmas Album! But by who, Kammy?

Yes, for the second year running, ex-footballer, long time Sky Sports analyst, and now Michael Bublé impersonator, Chris Kamara has released a Christmas album, that assumedly someone, somewhere has asked for. Hyperbole aside, Kammy’s Here’s To Christmas charted at number eight last year, and in the completely upside-down year of 2020, the sequel, …And A Happy New Year has released to diminished returns and general apathy. 

For a man of Kammy’s fame, and career longevity, it’s commendable to take strides into a musical venture he is clearly passionate about. Fans of Big Band music, soft vocals and songs you already know most of the lyrics to, will find this album to be perfectly fine. There are certainly less appropriate albums for your yuletide festivities, and Kammy offers an above-average voice and some pleasant, easy listening. That being said, for a man who’s birthday is literally December 25th, you’d expect Chris to put a little more into this crop of Christmas crooners than the, at times, dreary crawl he offers up on most of the tracks. 

Starting off strong with ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’, the curious listener is treated to the best song on the album, and honestly a perfectly serviceable, inoffensive little tune that wouldn’t be out of place on the playlist Grandma asked you to burn onto a tape for Christmas dinner. The issue with the opening song, however, is that once it ends and ‘I Believe In Father Christmas’ rolls on, you realise that, yes, it is actually just an album of Christmas songs performed by Chris Kamara, TV personality and ex-Bradford City manager. This is followed by a rendition of ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ that, to be fair, is livelier than if the late Christina Rosetti had risen from the grave and read the original poem through skeletal teeth. Then, the album reaches its lowest point: ‘Dear Mr Claus.’

Beginning with ‘GENERIC_CHRISTMAS_BELLS3.wav’ and what can generously be described as ‘singing’, ‘Dear Mr Claus’ is, at its best, a song, and at its worst, nearly four minutes of what feels like you’re intruding on pillow talk between a legendary sports correspondent and a fictional being fabricated by parents to avoid having to explain capitalism to their children. It’s safe to say give this track a miss. 

I could go on, as …And A Happy New Year certainly does, but I think I’ve made my point. Ultimately, spare for a few stinkers, this album does a perfectly acceptable job at being what it advertises: some christmas classics sung by a famous face. ‘Blue Christmas’ and ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ stand out as reasonable includes to accompany your turkey this year, but other than that, Kammy’s second attempt at etching his name into the annals of must-play Christmas bangers is nothing more than a secret santa gift for the colleague you know the least, but you’re fairly certain likes football. You will likely listen to this album twice, if it all: Once to see what a Chris Kamara Christmas album sounds like, and again to show someone else, accompanied with the phrase “you’ll never guess who this is.”. If you absolutely must be dragged kicking and screaming into Christmas, and Mariah Carey is no longer cutting it, there’s worse you could do than pop on than …And A Happy New Year, so long as you can live with “Alexa, play some Chris Kamara” being a real sentence you actually say out loud on Christmas Day. 

… And A Happy New Year is available to listen to now via Silva Screen Records. Check out ‘I Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday’ down below. 

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3rd year English student desperately trying to defend Pop-Punk.

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