White Christmas by NINNI is a refreshing cover of a Christmas classic. I love its ingenuity in its interpretation of such a traditional melody. NINNI allows his personality and style to come through without changing the track beyond recognition.
There is a lot of love and respect for the joy of the holiday season and the original that comes through his rendition.
While sounding quite traditional towards the beginning, the composition evolves as it goes, introducing this wonderful syncopated drum pattern. Although it is not a Brazilian clave, it has elements that reminded me of bossa nova in its use of syncopation and timbre. It works beautifully with the gentle guitar playing that fills the melody from about the fifty-second mark. Several layers of guitars play over each other, creating these beautiful harmonies and elements of interplay. There is one that explores the lower tones, while another balances the vocals, elevating the subtleties of the performance. I love the instrumental break with this beautiful, bright, shiny timbre and rhythmic shake that provides a different listening experience from the other aspects while staying in line with the sonic tapestry of the track as a whole.
The vocals convey passion from beginning to end but pick up in the second half with the added layers of instrumentation supporting them. They are left a little exposed at the beginning. They could have done with leaning into their subtle emotional delivery or engaging with a sense of boldness. The track suffers from not committing vocally to either of those camps towards the beginning. However, the vocals feel more at home as the song goes on. Through the second half, there is this palpable sense of the vocalist opening up. That personality makes the track feel far more connected and confident in that second half.
Overall, NINNI’s cover of White Christmas is creative and fun to listen to. The instrumental is unique and well-executed. The vocals swell in the second half, allowing their bold and charismatic energy to take over the song.