Santa's Takin' Over The Town by REHYA STEVENS is a fun mix of nostalgic and brand-new. It captures the flavour of the traditional Christmas tracks that defined many childhood Christmas experiences. However, she does so with a modern edge, putting her spin on the classic sound.
Opening up with Christmas Is Near, the track sets the tone with bells, a shiny timbre, and staccato strings. It builds up this palpable sense of anticipation for the holiday season. This track also sheds light on Stevens’ emphatic and bold vocal style that defines her sound.
The titular track, Santa’s Takin’ Over The Town, changes the vibe with rock energy, created by syncopated guitars and blues runs on the piano. Along with a fun and light-hearted brass accompaniment, the track successfully pushes the sound in a different direction, adding to its overall diversity.
After this left turn, the album settles into a traditional Christmas sound, with tracks like Christmas is Comin’ Again. I love the call-and-response harmony it uses. This technique reminded me of The Beach Boys. It sounds distinctly vintage, almost like a forgotten Christmas classic from decades ago.
Wonderful World Tonight steals the show. This track has the perfect mix of energy and boldness that makes the album joyous while utilising a shiny and bright timbre. You can almost feel the cold wind whistling past you when you listen to this one. The vocal performance from Stephens ebbs and flows with the composition and oozes charisma from start to finish. Her excitement about the holidays is contagious. It immerses you in the track as a listener, drawing even the biggest scrooges into its irresistible holiday cheer.
Overall, this album feels unquestionably positive with a contagious and optimistic energy. Its ability to evolve its sonic palette while feeling like one journey from beginning to end is impressive.