As an artist that has always looked to reinvent conventional approaches to music, it seems strange that he hasn't taken on the Christmas record before. Over the years, Grammy-winning composer and producer Chilly Gonzales has collaborated with the likes of Daft Punk, Peaches and Feist, injecting his own blend of classical influences into the more commercial scene. But given our international love or sometimes tolerance for the Christmas anthem, it seems like a missed opportunity for this much-loved artist. So now we get to enjoy his take on the Christmas carol with 'A Very Chilly Christmas', a record that pushes the envelope while keeping its traditional roots.
While the largely instrumental collection, focusing solely on Chilly's spellbinding piano playing, 'A Very Chilly Christmas' has this remarkable aura about it, as if he is playing these recognisable serenades just for us. There is this subtle homely quality about the way in which he has arranged the music, giving this new full-length a distinct yet captivating sound and allowing us to truly breathe in what he has to offer. While artists such as Jarvis Cocker and Feist also seldom join him for the release, this is firmly a solo venture that sees him take his love for concept albums to a whole new direction.
From the outside, it may look like a simple covers LP of familiar Christmas songs, but Chilly Gonzales makes it his own with his masterful presence. Not exactly full of surprises, but a sweet and simple listen that is hard to not become entranced by.