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The brand new Pink Martini holiday album Joy to the World is here at The Record Exchange, and it’s been flying off the shelves the last few weeks.
In true Pink Martini fashion, the band has created a globally-inclusive holiday album for the 21st century, performing 14 festive songs in eight languages. Featuring traditional holiday favorites alongside gorgeous, lesser-known discoveries, the album is enhanced by an array of guests, including Japanese pop star Saori Yuki and NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro, backed by a fabulous gathering of Portland choirs.
A buoyant collection of multi-cultural songs of the season, Joy To The World’s 14 selections include Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” … sung by China Forbes in English and by the incredible Saori Yuki (the Barbra Streisand of Japan) in Japanese, a Fela-inspired version of “We Three Kings,” and “Silent Night” in the original German with verses in Arabic and English, too.
The band also recorded — with the Pacific Youth Choir and the handbell choir Bells of the Cascades — “Shchedryk,” known in English-speaking countries as “Carol of the Bells,” with the original Ukrainian text and a Hebrew prayer “Elohai N’tzor” with Ida Rae Cahana and Ari Shapiro and Patricia Costa Kim.
There’s a Chinese New Year song from 1946, a song in Ladino (the intersection of Spanish and Hebrew), Christmas favorites “Santa Baby” and “Little Drummer Boy,” a Pink Martini original “A Snowglobe Christmas,” and the album ends with a samba parade of “Auld Lang Syne” with choruses in English, Arabic and French over the incredible percussion of the Lions of Batucada.
The package even unfolds like a cityscape. Sweet.
1. White Christmas
2. White Christmas (part II) featuring Saori Yuki
3. Shchedryk (Carol of the Bells)
4. Santa Baby
5. Elohai, N’tzor
6. Little Drummer Boy
7. Congratulations – A Happy New Year Song
8. Do You Hear What I Hear?
9. La Vergine Degli Angeli
10. We Three Kings
11. A Snowglobe Christmas
12. Ocho Kanelikas (Eight Little Candles)
13. Silent Night
14. Auld Lang Syne