For some artists, a holiday album is little more than an afterthought. But not Platinum-selling recording artist Brett Eldredge, who released the brand-new album Mr. Christmas today (listen here). Eldredge believes that Christmas songs capture the light in all of us, letting it shine for a few months each winter, and with Mr. Christmas he embraces a calling to help bring that light out like never before.
“I really think some of the last of the magic left in this world is in Christmas music,” Eldredge says. “There’s a lot of joy in this record – even more than the first in some ways – and I wanted to tip a hat to where I started … but also take it to the soulful side of my music. The world is the world, and life comes at you like it does, but I hope you find some joy in this music. I hope it softens life a little bit and puts a smile on someone’s face when they need it. If it does, I’ve done my job.”
With four acclaimed studio albums, six number one singles and awards from the Country Music Association, ASCAP, BMI and more, the Illinois native may not seem like the type to feel pulled in by a Christmastime calling – but it fits like a perfectly tailored tux. Mr. Christmas features 11 warm, inviting tunes steeped in the magic Eldredge has long admired.
Mixing well-known holiday classics with eclectic, lesser-appreciated tunes and two custom-made Christmas creations, Mr. Christmas is the embodiment of Eldredge’s holiday wonder. Co-written during the pandemic with Ross Copperman, the title track “Mr. Christmas” may as well be the manifesto for Eldredge’s Christmas calling. With its effortless charm and a sound as comfortable as a crackling fire, it reveals the purpose behind the project, and stands shoulder to shoulder with the classics. “Feels Like Christmas” is another soulful new original also written by Eldredge. Full of hope and the comforting traditions he loves so much, it both embodies the excitement Eldredge truly feels when Christmas comes around and celebrates the source of joy we all need these days.
The team also coaxed fresh energy and booming vocal glee from beloved tunes like “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” They took a swinging run through “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” and added blasting horns, commanding presence and some sly self-assurance to “Cool Yule” – previously covered by everyone from Louis Armstrong to the Brian Setzer Orchestra. “Merry Christmas Baby” revels in early-rock exhilaration, and still others like “O Come All Ye Faithful” tribute the reason for the season.
Far from a sleepy soundtrack, the album is defined by a bright and brassy sound paired with his signature soulful vocal that ranges from strutting confidence to quiet reverence – all with class and creative whimsy. Eldredge reenlisted producers Rob Mounsey and Jay Newland, who worked with him on his celebrated 2016 Christmas album, Glow, and in the Spring of 2021 returned to a massive New York City studio normally used for orchestral scores, “rocking a different tux each day, like full on,” he says with a laugh.
It all adds up to a reminder that magic does exist – if only for a short time each year – and the release of Mr. Christmas welcomes that time once again. To celebrate its return, Eldredge is also bringing back his beloved Glow LIVE holiday tour beginning this November. A feel-good annual tradition for many, the tour will stop in major cities across the country, including back-to-back nights in Nashville, Boston, Chicago and New York City (for a full list of dates, visit bretteldredge.com).