For many listeners, holiday music is a chance for familiarity. It’s an opportunity to reminisce, to share collective memories. Music does that – it helps us connect with a time and a place. Maybe hearing “Last Christmas” from WHAM! takes you back to baking cookies with your classmates the night before exams or hearing Peggy Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” reminds you of being in that freezing Chevy Cavaliere, trying to get up that icy hill that one winter. It’s even more special, when a celebrated voice helms the vocals to a song that you never knew you would love so much. In her debut Christmas single, “My Grown Up Christmas List”, Linda “Peaches” Tavani from the Grammy-nominated duo, Peaches & Herb, picks up right where she left off – from the top.
When Tavani sings the chorus – it’s as if she were a choir of one. Her voice exhales the words no more lives torn apart / that wars would never start / and time would heal all hearts / and everyone would have a friend…she sings in exultation if ever there was an example. The heart beats with anticipation as she delivers these notes effortlessly. A murmuring horn bellows beneath her voice, adding a touch of stoicism and majesty. Her voice rises, still, as the mellow piano keys sparkle like fresh snow, giving way to her gregarious, natural tones. She brings a shining personality to the recording, a feat no doubt due to her many live performances. This song, written in 1992 by Amy Grant and David Foster, is a selection that caters to adults. Still, I think there’s a lesson to be learned that the spirit of Christmas is for everyone of any age. Tavani’s stylish voice exudes humility. She sounds boundless.
Listen to My Grown up Christmas List on Spotify. Linda Peaches Tavani · Single · 2021 · 1 songs.
The backing music is jazzy and a bit nocturnal. You feel a euphoria and a burst of energy when the horns play. I loved the drummer working the brushes – it’s the right feeling for this song and for Tavani’s epic vocals. I think you get a jazz night club experience, and that’s what I mean by the night-time tones. I can just imagine a room filled with candle-lit tables, and the Christmas travelers – away from their families during the holidays – feeling as one listening to Tavani sing this song. She has a way of making the lonely feel surrounded by love. The music is a rousing reminder that the holidays can be both sad and happy for so many people. I think the orchestration balances both.
Peaches & Herb hit it big with “Shake Your Groove Thing” and “Reunited”, and Tavani still holds that special magic. My words just don’t do her voice justice – there is something effervescent about the “in-between” moments in this song. While there are but a few seconds or less between notes, the connection she has with the listener is instant. It just clicks. I could listen to Tavani sing just about any list on any day – but “My Grown Up Christmas List” feels like a special gift.