This Christmas - Single (2021)
Review By Michael Marcus
December 24, 2021
I love Christmas music, especially the songs that aren't really about Christmas at all. Donny Hathaway's This Christmas is a great example: despite the title and the seasonal trappings in the lyrics, at its core the song is about being together with someone you love. And boy, am I getting a lot of love from the Boston College Dynamics on this track.
With its multiple talented leads and ebullient backs, This Christmas could have been the opening number of a Sing-Off holiday episode back in the day. (The music video, featuring the Dynamics partying in the library in their holiday best, also has a Sing-Off vibe.) Gabriel Santos starts us off slow, dripping with soul; then Julia McCahill enters with her sultry alto, trading runs with Santos — and we haven't even gotten to Kyle Leonard and Paige Fleming yet, who are perhaps less distinctive but hold their own on the verses. The arrangement (by multiple everything winner Shams Ahmed) packs a ton of variety into three minutes: the slow start, a straightforward first verse and chorus, a slightly dialed down second verse, then a key change and a strong finish. It's textbook, but it really works here. And the pure joyous energy coming from the ensemble, particularly the women, is infectious — a feat made even more impressive by the fact that the group recorded individually from their homes. The next time someone asks what it means to sing "doo" with feeling, point them to this track.
What better way to celebrate the holidays in 2021 than with a song that celebrates togetherness? You can feel good about adding This Christmas to your holiday party playlist.