Holiday Wishes (Idina Menzel album)

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Holiday Wishes
Christmas Wishes
HolidayWishesAlbumCover.jpg
Studio album by Idina Menzel
Released October 14, 2014
Recorded Summer 2014
Capitol Studios
Genre Christmas
Length 48:34
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Walter Afanasieff, Rob Mounsey
Idina Menzel chronology
Live: Barefoot at the Symphony
(2012)Live: Barefoot at the Symphony2012
Holiday Wishes
(2014)
idina.
(2016)idina.2016

Holiday Wishes, also titled Christmas Wishes,[1] is a Christmas holiday album by American singer-songwriter and actress Idina Menzel. Produced by Walter Afanasieff, it was released by Warner Bros. Records on October 14, 2014 in the United States, and on November 3 in the United Kingdom.[2][3][1] It is Menzel's fourth studio album to date, as well as her first in six years, and features a duet with Michael Bublé.

Background[edit]

During her one night only concert at Radio City Music Hall, Menzel revealed details about the album, and indicated that the track "December Prayer" would be an original song. She also added, in regard to her Jewish ethnicity, "I know I'm Jewish. But a lot of famous Jewish people have written Christmas songs, so I'm going to try out some of their songs on the album. I'm glad I'm not singing about Jesus."[2][4]

Although it's the only song in the album that was written by Menzel, the song "December Prayer" is a cover of the Yvonne Catterfeld song. Catterfeld's original rendition was included in her 2010 album "Blau im Blau".

Content and composition[edit]

According to Menzel, Holiday Wishes consists of mostly "songs that I’ve always wanted to sing."[5] The album begins with a cover of the holiday standard "Do You Hear What I Hear?", the recording of which was inspired by American singer Whitney Houston's rendition.[5] The fifth song is a cover of "All I Want for Christmas is You", which was originally recorded and made famous by American singer Mariah Carey.[5] Menzel opted to record the track using an arrangement that producer Walter Afanasieff, who co-wrote and produced Carey's version, had never been able to use before.[5]

The seventh track "December Prayer" is the only original song featured on the album, which has been described by Randy Lewis of the Los Angeles Times as a "reflection about a soldier finding his way home for the holidays."[6]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars

Holiday Wishes has garnered positive reviews from music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic concluded, "Unsurprising though it may be, Holiday Wishes nevertheless is satisfying because producer Walter Afanasieff commits to his Christmas classicism, as does Menzel. Everything here sparkles with the gleam of freshly fallen snow: it's big, bright, and so stubbornly out of fashion that it'd never go out of style."[7] Praising Menzel's vocal performance, the Los Angeles Times' Randy Lewis wrote that the singer "brings a stocking-full of interpretive skill to some holiday classics." Lewis opined that despite "conventional" arrangements, "Menzel's tone and phrasing are consistently lovely."[6]

Commercial performance[edit]

Upon its release, Holiday Wishes debuted at number 13 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with sales of 20,000 copies, making it the highest-charting solo album of her career. In its sixth week on the chart, the album sold 33,000 copies and reached a new peak of number 10, making it Menzel's first ever solo album to reach the top 10 on the Billboard 200. With sales of 370,000, Holiday Wishes was 2014's second best-selling holiday album, behind That's Christmas to Me by Pentatonix.[8] On December 20, 2014, the album peaked at Number 6 on the Billboard 200.[9]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Do You Hear What I Hear"Noel Regney, Gloria Shayne Baker3:45
2."The Christmas Song"Bob Wells, Mel Tormé3:32
3."Baby It's Cold Outside" (duet with Michael Bublé)Frank Loesser2:46
4."Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin5:43
5."All I Want for Christmas Is You"Mariah Carey, Walter Afanasieff5:12
6."What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"Frank Loesser4:36
7."December Prayer"Afanasieff, Menzel, Charlie Midnight4:50
8."When You Wish upon a Star"Leigh Harline, Ned Washington3:00
9."Silent Night"Franz Xaver Gruber, Joseph Mohr4:30
10."River"Joni Mitchell4:01
11."Holly Jolly Christmas"Johnny Marks2:27
12."White Christmas"Irving Berlin4:12
Target edition bonus tracks[10]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
13."Mother's Spiritual"Laura Nyro4:19
14."Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow"Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne2:41

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[11] 55
UK Albums (OCC)[12] 42
US Billboard 200[13] 6

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[14] Gold 500,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Eames, Tom (September 30, 2014). "Idina Menzel announces Christmas album, includes Michael Buble duet". Digital Spy. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Strecker, Erin (September 4, 2014). "Idina Menzel Announces Release Date for Christmas Album". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Tony-Winning Frozen Star Idina Menzel to Release Christmas Album, Holiday Wishes, on October 14th on Warner Bros. Records". Yahoo!. September 4, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  4. ^ Evans, Suzy (June 17, 2014). "Idina Menzel Belts Stage and Songbook Hits, Accepts Fake Tony at Radio City Music Hall: Concert Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d Feeney, Nolan (October 14, 2014). "Idina Menzel Doesn't Understand Why Her Christmas Album Is Out in October". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved July 17, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Lewis, Randy (November 26, 2014). "Review Holiday music: Seth MacFarlane, Downton Abbey, Idina Menzel, more". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 17, 2016. 
  7. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (October 14, 2014). "Idina Menzel – Holiday Wishes". AllMusic. AllMusic. Retrieved July 17, 2016. 
  8. ^ Caulfield, Keith (January 2, 2015). "Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Pentatonix Earns 2014's Top Selling Christmas Album". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 3, 2015. 
  9. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/276493/idina-menzel/chart?f=305
  10. ^ "Idina Menzel - Holiday Wishes (Deluxe Edition) - Target Exclusive". Target Corporation. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  11. ^ Ryan, Gavin (December 13, 2014). "Michael Bublé Christmas Creates ARIA Chart Record". Noise11. Noise Network. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
  13. ^ "Idina Menzel Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  14. ^ "American album certifications – Idina Menzel – Holiday Wishes". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved December 6, 2017.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH