Frankie Valli – ‘Tis The Seasons (2016) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Frankie Valli – ‘Tis The Seasons (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 42:43 minutes | 919 MB | Genre: Pop, Holiday
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Rhino

There isn’t a lot Frankie Valli hasn’t done in a career that’s spanned seven decades (so far). One of those things used to be making a Christmas album as a solo act, but Valli has crossed that off his bucket list with the release of 2016’s ‘Tis the Seasons, with the title punningly reminding us that this is the work of the leader of the unendingly popular vocal group the Four Seasons. While Four Seasons’ fans may be part of the target audience for this, except for a cover of “Frosty the Snowman,” ‘Tis the Seasons doesn’t bear much resemblance to Valli’s chart hits of the ’60s and ’70s. Instead, this album is focused on contemporary pop in various flavors, though none so strong they would disrupt a normal family get-together. The production is polished and primarily built around electronic drums and keyboards (likely in a bid to sound modern but possibly to save money), and there are a few moments where Valli’s voice seems to have been lightly tweaked with Auto-Tune. The song selection is devoted entirely to various holiday classics, ranging from the twinkling electro-pop of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and the grand-scale spectacle of “Oh Come All Ye Faithful/Angels We Have Heard on High” to the somber tone of “Blue Christmas” and the romantic mood of “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” And Valli and producer Bob Gaudio bring in legendary guitarist Jeff Beck to lay smooth but rootsy blues figures over “Merry Christmas, Baby.” As for Valli, his voice is in a good shape for a guy who was over 80 years old when this album came out, but while he can still hit the notes he reaches for (and he’s smart enough to avoid his falsetto), his vocals aren’t as strong as they once were (not unexpected), and his singing is often low in the mix and surrounded by backing vocalists, which doesn’t help the fragile edge of his tone. There doesn’t seem to be much of Valli’s musical personality in ‘Tis the Seasons, surprising given how strong his personality can be, but it’s still the work of a show business professional who is going to put on a good Christmas show for his fans. If you like Frankie Valli and you like Christmas music, chances are you’ll like ‘Tis the Seasons just fine, though purists might opt for the reissue of the 1963 Yultide effort The Four Seasons Greetings. ~ Mark Deming

01. Joy To The World / Do You Hear What I Hear?
02. The Christmas Song
03. Winter Wonderland
04. Merry Christmas, Baby (feat. Jeff Beck)
05. Frosty The Snowman
06. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
07. Jingle Bell Rock
08. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
09. Blue Christmas
10. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve
11. White Christmas
12. O Come All Ye Faithful / Angels We Have Heard On High
13. We Wish You A Merry Christmas