Don’t knock the Yuletide classics, folks. In the more than capable hands of Janelle Nadeau, some of the most beloved Christmas standards are presented on her latest, Star of Night. Utilizing her supremely adroit harp skills, Nadeau breathes contemporary life into otherwise aged classics in a manner that is both charming and breathtaking. Star of Night proves there is perhaps no one more in touch with the harp as a multifaceted instrument that embodies the spirit of the season immaculately.
Nadeau doesn’t simply reimagine tracks like “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” or “Huron Carol,” for reimagining them would simply imply a cover or a translation into a certain genre. What Nadeau does with the tracks instead is propel these songs into a more modern context. Despite using a vessel of a somewhat antiquated mode of musicianship, there’s absolutely nothing outmoded about the record – it is timeless.
It’s also a delight to hear Nadeau sing on a select few cuts including a cover of U2’s “Peace on Earth.” By coming out from behind her instrument to lend necessary vocals, Nadeau adds a perfect dose of personality to the record. One feels as though they are listening to an artist modally channeling the nearly-ancient notes in our December vernacular, rather than rolling them out in a slick package for the sake of novelty.
Rife for the soundtrack to a classy gathering or a cozy winter night in with a loved one, Star of Night is an instant Christmas classic. Add Nadeau’s latest to your low-key Noel listening cycle.