Nov 8, 2011
“This Holiday Night” is a confection that lifts moods and leaves no bitter aftertaste. Drink deeply. – Lance Wright, All What’s Rock
“This Holiday Night” celebrates that same indomitable spirit and, as a result, it isn’t a stretch assuming that what listeners are encountering with this track is the same thing they hear in earlier songs like “Colours” and “Never2Late” – a personal statement, a musical reflection of Margo Rey’s deepest truths, unadulterated, no chaser. Margo Rey’s long and winding journey through the music world has brought her in touch with virtually every genre and anyone familiar with her will astutely note how she picked up something new from each stop.
There is an innate musical genius that’s propelled her from earliest years of classical training through popular tenures in all-girl rock bands, power pop trios, Latin-influenced jazz fusion and musical theatre. Additionally, Rey understands the value of presentation and her music excels thanks, in no small part, to superb production that frames her vocal instrument in the best possible light. This Top 5 Billboard charting Christmas classic, “This Holiday Night”, serves as a timely reminder of her unique place in our modern firmament of stars. It’s hard to not hear this song and feel that, like everything else she turns her hand towards, that recent personal challenges helped shape the song. Rey is a two-time breast cancer survivor and it isn’t difficult to detect immense gratitude underlying her vocal and the lyric material. “This Holiday Night” is an unusual Christmas musical offering for a number of reasons, but one of the primary causes is thanks to its resolute and refreshing desire to avoid clichés. Rey’s songwriting invokes some familiar Yuletide themes, but surprising, even poetic, intimacy is among the song’s strongest merits.
The amount of specificity is another surprising aspect – this sort of song typically contents itself with hitting a handful of recognized sweet spots before backing out in a cloud of schmaltziness. Rey never comes close to that and leaves the listener wanting more. Such offerings are usually lush, even overwrought, musically, but “This Holiday Night” is melodic and surprisingly nimble. Rey thankfully spares listeners any music of the spheres nonsense and, instead, her voice waltzing around the song’s lilting melody carries us away. Piano and strings dominate the musical performance, but the production touches are so light and well-balanced that each facet of the recording seems to move forward to its conclusion as one instead of varying parts welded together to form an uneasy whole.
There’s a sly air of familiarity in the melody as if the songwriting intuitively understood the value of strengthening musical connections between this original composition and other, older Christmas songs. There’s an upbeat, forward-looking spirit imbuing the best of Margo Rey’s music. It isn’t silence and smiling arrogance in the face of life, but instead, it’s a bright-eyed recognition of the gifts and blessings that waking each day brings to our lives. “This Holiday Night” is a confection that lifts moods and leaves no bitter aftertaste. Drink deeply. – Lance Wright – All What’s Rock