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Dupree’s Christmas album is exceptional in every way

J-P Mauro - published on 12/22/21

The mother/son combo band brings us two brand new Christmas tunes, while making some of the classics sound fresher than ever.

After releasing an impressive sophomore album earlier this year, Dupree is back with a Christmas album in 2021. Dylan and Lauren Dupree, the mother/son songwriting team, have a lot of music to share in just seven songs, as they jump genres with each track. The work, At Christmas Time, is sure to be a lasting addition to any holiday playlist. 

Original Christmas songs

At Christmas Time opens up with the titular track, which sounds like it would be perfectly suited to radio play. The first time we heard it, we thought it must have been a cover because the song sounds like it should have been sandwiched between “Last Christmas” and “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time” for years. 

The second original Christmas song, “The Christmas Prayer,” featured above, has quickly become one of our favorites. With an easy melody on the verse, the song moves with a sense of determination. One of our favorite parts is the added elements of “O Come All Ye Faithful” in the chorus. We especially appreciated the overt references to Jesus Christ, an important element left out of many modern Christmas songs.

The carols

From there, Dupree delves into Christmas carols, covering some of the most popular tunes in unexpected ways. “O Holy Night” for example, starts out as a straight rendition of Adolphe Adam’s timeless tune. That is, until Dylan rips into a breathtaking solo that must cover the majority of the fretboard.

There’s a really interesting moment at the end of “O Holy Night,” where Dylan gives a quick jazzy lick of “Jingle Bells.” It doesn’t seem like much, but it is incredibly nuanced as it draws the listener into the next track, a jazz-infused “O Christmas Tree.” 

We can’t praise “O Christmas Tree” enough. Dylan sings his lines with the intonation of a young Frank Sinatra. For those who don’t know, Ol’ Blue Eyes was well known for never singing exactly on the beat, a trait he learned from studying Ella Fitzgerald. It is an incredibly difficult thing to do, but it makes jazz vocals so much more interesting and unique. Here Dylan displays a natural jazz prowess that begs the question of how many musical gifts God can grant one man. 

Masterful guitar work

Speaking of musical gifts, we haven’t even reached “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” In what almost feels like a nod to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Dupree performs the track as an instrumental. It opens with a guitar tone that almost sounds like Clapton’s work on the Lethal Weapon soundtrack and rapidly evolves into a masterpiece of prog rock. In about four minutes, Dylan puts on a clinic that any aspiring guitarist should study. 

Dupree caps off the album with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” which almost feels like a victory lap after “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” This rocking Christmas anthem brings some punk rock tones to the classic carol, but still maintains the homey feeling of the original. 

At Christmas Time is a wonderful new album filled with holiday spirit and exceptional music. Our only complaint is that it ended too soon, but this leaves Dupree open to explore more delightful Christmas tunes on a later album. Personally, we’d like to see what they can do with “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” or “Please Come Home for Christmas.” Either way, the album has left us excited to hear what comes next from Dupree.

At Christmas Time is currently available on all major music marketplaces. Pick up your copy today. 

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