I have been following the career of Dutch crooner Dennis van Aarssen for several years now. Earlier this year I reviewed his CD 'How to Live' here, and was very enthusiastic about it. Now his third album is here, and it has become a Christmas CD.

After all, Dennis thinks that crooners and Christmas are a golden combination, and he had been dreaming of recording such an album for 3 years. He has therefore written several Christmas songs in recent years, and 2 of them were released as singles.

There are 8 original Christmas songs that he wrote together with Jeff Franzel (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Mel Tormé) and Maria Christensen (Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez) or with Simon Gitsels and Karel Schepers, plus 2 covers.

Opener 'Kris P. (The Christmas Elf)' is about a diligent elf, a helper of Santa Claus, who never gets anything himself. Dennis fixes that with this track. 'Everytime When Christmas Comes Around' swings the pan, and is about the essence of Christmas. And on ‘(Will You Be) Gone By Christmas Night’, he wonders if a November love will last until Christmas.

Jamie Cullum's 'Hang Your Lights' got a new arrangement, after which 'The Old Songs' represents a homage to well-known Christmas songs. Singer Lucy Woodward is a guest on the duet 'Stay For Christmas', and wonders if she should stay the night for Christmas. Chris Rea's 'Driving Home For Christmas' is a favorite track of Dennis, and it was given a disco-like arrangement.

Santa himself is said to be a fan of big band music and has his own big band at the North Pole. That is the theme of the jazzy 'Santa's Crazy North Pole Orchestra', followed by the cheerful 'The Joy That's In Your Heart'. This song was written in New York City last year when it was 38°C! The title track is a ballad, and it closes the album.

Dennis is currently touring the Netherlands with a sold-out show, and next month he will be a guest in our country during the Radio 2 Rat Pack concert. Unfortunately I won't be there! Maybe later we will be able to see this real crooner live at work.

In the meantime I'm listening to this beautiful Christmas album and celebrating just like Dennis with the ones I love!



Dennis Van Aarssen


Kris P. (The Christmas Elf)

Everytime When Christmas Comes Around

(Will You Be) Gone By Christmas Night

Hang Your Lights

The Old Songs

Stay For Christmas

Driving Home For Christmas

Santa’s Crazy North Pole Orchestra

The Joy That’s In Your Heart

Christmas When You’re Here

Copied from culturmania with the permission of the author.