When the “Frozen” soundtrack and “Let It Go” escalated from hit to megahit status earlier this year, it was a no-brainer that somebody would get singer Idina Menzel into the recording studio in time to put out her own album of holiday music.
Wisely, she and producer-arranger Walter Afanasieff resisted what had to have been considerable temptation in assembling their song list for her “Holiday Wishes” album to make the centerpiece “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”
But it’s no surprise that she tabbed Frank Loesser’s perennial holiday duet “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” or that she invited Canadian throwback pop singer Michael Buble — who turned out one of the biggest holiday albums in recent years with his “Christmas” in 2011 — along for the musical tussle between a woman who’s trying to say her goodbyes and the man doing his best to convince her otherwise.
They’ve just released a music video, directed by Brett Sullivan, designed like an old-school ‘30s film musical number, complete with visual nods to Busby Berkeley.
The video’s charm stems from the all-kid cast, the central couple outfitted in vintage tux and ball gown as they lip-sync Menzel and Buble’s parts while taking on Lynne Page’s nifty choreography through a swanky hotel’s lobby, and briefly meet their real-world counterparts in mirror images.
Mostly, “Holiday Wishes” is all Menzel, applying her Broadway-seasoned pipes to a familiar roster of seasonal songs including “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire),” “Silent Night” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” along with one new contribution, “December Prayer,” which Menzel wrote with Afanasieff and Charlie Midnight.
It’s sold modestly so far, a little more than 70,000 copies in four weeks--up to No. 16 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart this week--but the video ought to give that number a boost.
Meanwhile, although Menzel sidestepped another performance of “Let It Go,” Arlington, Texas-based a cappella group Pentatonix couldn’t resist and included it on their new holiday album “That’s Christmas To Me.”
The quintet, which won the third season of NBC’s talent competition “The Sing-Off,” leaves the instruments behind, letting their blended voices replicate the orchestral arrangement in the hit version from the “Frozen” movie.
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