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  • Jonathan Widran

LAURA DICKINSON 17, Auld Lang Syne

The Laura Dickinson 17’s alternately boisterous/partying and wistful/longing Auld Lang Syne is an engaging, surprise filled holiday collection with a deeper mission beyond the entertainment. Beyond simply celebrating a cool yule with bold and snappy brass and sass big band arrangements performed by L.A.’s most illustrious studio jingle cats, the multi-talented Grammy winning producer and vocal contractor fashions a deeply heartfelt tribute to a hopeful vision of that time of year when folks open their hearts to family and friends, reflect and count their blessings.

Refreshingly, Dickinson’s lead vocals incorporate soulfulness, wit and charming innocence, all in a spirited and playful bundle. Surrounding her like swirling angels spreading fiery Christmas cheer are incredible solos by, among many others, trombonist Steve Trapani, trumpeter Kye Palmer and Grammy winning guitarist Andrew Synowiec.

Yet beyond these rich pleasures, Auld Lang Syne ultimately sets itself apart from the usual holiday music fare with offbeat song choices to complement more standard (but still exquisitely arranged) fare like “Happy Holiday/The Holiday Season” and “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” Two of these unique choices (“Christmas is Starting Now” and “Peace and Joy”) are original songs from Disney Channel shows which Dickinson is currently being featured on. 

Elsewhere, with a slightly melancholy mood in mind, she time travels from a lesser known Irving Berlin tune (“Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me” from “White Christmas”) to “Miss You Most (At Christmastime),” an overlooked gem from Mariah Carey’s first holiday album. Truly worth toasting to, Auld Lang Syne is a solid, multi-faceted set to put on during those holiday parties this year!    

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