15 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs is as womanly as it is wintry. Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson sing a beautifully stark and poetically melancholic “Winter Song,” layering vocals and braiding harmonies together to birth an angelic opener. Brandi Carlile’s “The Heartache Can Wait” is similarly ambrosial in its sadness, blending cello, piano and sleigh bells under her cooing voice. Lenka changes the tone on an adorable little tune called “All My Bells Are Ringing,” with doo-wop inspired backing vocals and lyrics that pine for her Christmas crush. Fiona Apple’s rootsy rendition of “Frosty the Snowman” is playful enough to suggest that maybe she should try her hand at an album of songs for kids. It’s quite a departure from her usual coquettish songs of seduction, but Meiko makes up for that with “Maybe Next Year (Christmas Song),” a flirty tune where even the instruments are alluring; it wouldn’t be out of place if she were singing it while slithering out of a giant gift box at a bachelor party. Priscilla Ahn’s layered acapella take on “Silent Night” is easily the dreamiest contribution here.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs is as womanly as it is wintry. Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson sing a beautifully stark and poetically melancholic “Winter Song,” layering vocals and braiding harmonies together to birth an angelic opener. Brandi Carlile’s “The Heartache Can Wait” is similarly ambrosial in its sadness, blending cello, piano and sleigh bells under her cooing voice. Lenka changes the tone on an adorable little tune called “All My Bells Are Ringing,” with doo-wop inspired backing vocals and lyrics that pine for her Christmas crush. Fiona Apple’s rootsy rendition of “Frosty the Snowman” is playful enough to suggest that maybe she should try her hand at an album of songs for kids. It’s quite a departure from her usual coquettish songs of seduction, but Meiko makes up for that with “Maybe Next Year (Christmas Song),” a flirty tune where even the instruments are alluring; it wouldn’t be out of place if she were singing it while slithering out of a giant gift box at a bachelor party. Priscilla Ahn’s layered acapella take on “Silent Night” is easily the dreamiest contribution here.

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.3 out of 5
437 Ratings

437 Ratings

E Clarkk ,

Hotel Cafe = amazing.

I was familiar with every single artist put on this compilation cd, and was very anxious for its release. It is OUTSTANDING. Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson did a great job on the opening track. Brandi Carlile's song is amazing (and that was expected). Meiko's great, I saw her perform her X-Mas Song back in March. The medley at the end is great. Holly Conlan's voice is just angelic, so is Catherine Feeny's. My favorite is Priscilla Ahn's cover of Silent Night...there are no instruments. At all. Just lots of vocal layers. Amazing job well done, arranged by Priscilla herself. Definitely worth every penny.

And to whoever said Hotel Cafe wasn't for gender equality, this album was to help promote the fall Hotel Cafe Girls' tour. For the past few years, the Hotel Cafe Tour has featured lots of singer-songwriters, male and female. This tour in exclusive was just a female one. And you obviously didn't listen to the last song, which features Cary Brothers, Jim Bianco, and Greg Laswell with the girls. Summary: BUY THIS ALBUM. IT'S FOR A GOOD CAUSE.

Syke9870 ,

Wow!

The Heartache Can Wait is absolutely beautiful. Leave it to Brandi Carlile. :) The only real downfall to the collection is Katy Perry. What was she thinking!?

newyorker1954 ,

Absolutely beautiful

Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles' song is absolutely beautiful!! Their voices work so well together and the lyrics are really moving. I love that it isn't a "christmas" song per se and I definitely will be enjoying this song for months after the holiday season! I highly recommend "Winter Song"

You May Also Like