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Happy Christmas is the seventh studio album and second Christmas album by American recording artist Jessica Simpson, released on November 22, 2010 by Primary Wave. Produced by Kuk Harrell, Aaron Pearce, C. "Tricky" Stewart and The-Dream, it is her first album released by Primary Wave and features cover versions of various Christmas standards in addition to original material.

Background

Simpson parted ways with her record label, Epic Records, and signed a new record deal. She was interviewed by E! News and PopSugar.com where she revealed that she had been working on a new Christmas album. On September 15, 2010, it was announced that Simpson was working with the producers of The-Dream and Tricky Stewart in her next two albums. On October 12, 2010, Simpson announced via Twitter that she had completed recording this album. Simpson said that the concept of a new Christmas album came after PBS asked her if she would like to do a Christmas special. Simpson and PBS thought it would be a good idea to release an album along with a holiday special. The show premiered on television on December 4, 2010. The album was made available for streaming through Amazon.com.[1] She also appeared on The Early Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Live with Regis and Kelly, Access Hollywood and performed at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting.

In an interview, Simpson said about that album: "This (album) is different because it's under my complete control, it's the first record that I'm putting out on eleveneleven Records which is my new record company. "I think it's great to have a spiritual record out there to be my first [on my new label] because that's how I got started in the business anyway".[2]

Tricky Stewart told US Weekly about working with Simpson on the album: "I was so pleasantly surprised and happy with how everything came out! She is a gem just waiting to be rediscovered, so there is a definite possibility of us working together again in the future. She is fun and lighthearted but very serious about her singing. She is a little bit of an over-thinker sometimes because she puts so much pressure on herself. But, overall we had a great time making this record! We had to do it super fast — we started the negotiations and everything in October, which is really late for a Christmas album. But we got it done, it came out, and it's great — everyone loved it".[3]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic3/5 stars11px11px11px11px[4]

The album received positive reviews. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic stated, "compared to 2004's brassy Rejoyce: The Christmas Album, Happy Christmas exists on a small stage: Simpson doesn't belt songs out, doesn't seem intent on wowing an audience with her pizzazz. [sic] [...]She may be intent on being all things to all people, but her eagerness to please suits the season and helps make Happy Christmas a better holiday soundtrack than Rejoyce."[5]

Jon Caramanica from New York Times stated, "A Western-swing-influenced medley of "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," sung by Jessica Simpson, and produced by Tricky Stewart and The-Dream? Someone's been paying attention to one critic's holiday wish list. Ms. Simpson, who began her career several lifetimes ago as a Christian singer, hasn't sounded as focused in years as she does on the feverishly pleasing "Happy Christmas," which is produced largely by Mr. Stewart and The-Dream, the synth-bliss R&B tastemakers, employing full restraint here. The bland bigness of holiday music suits Ms. Simpson's overpowering voice well, but even when she's testing it, she sounds sharp, whether on the multitracked delirium of "Carol of the Bells" or on an electric-blues version of "Merry Christmas Baby," where she energetically over-emotes against a more laconic holiday messenger, Willie Nelson"[6]

Chart performance

The album sold 10,153 copies in its first weekScript error and debuted at number 123 on US Billboard 200, becoming Simpson's lowest peak in the US.[7] It also debuted at number nine on Billboard Independent Albums and number twenty three on Top Holiday Albums chart.[7] The album has sold 110,000 copies in the United States, in June 2012 and worldwide has sold more than 500,000 copies.[8][9]

Promotion

Single

"My Only Wish" was released as promotional single. It premiered at On Air with Ryan Seacrest and the Simpson website jessicasimpson.com, the November 11, 2010. The song was written by Aaron Pearce, Jessica Simpson and Christopher Stewart. "My Only Wish" is a love song, a good rhythm Christmas, featuring pop music and traditional rhythms, drum notes, and hard knocks and grooves. Background vocals are present throughout the chorus. The song received mixed reviews by critics, it has been compared to All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey. The song managed to position the Top 50 most downloaded Christmas songs of iTunes in the United States. The week of release the album, the song could be downloaded for free from iTunes. The single did not have a music video.

Presentation

She was at The Early Show, the Late Show with David Letterman, Live with Regis and Kelly, and at Macy's Thanksgiving Parade to promote the album.

Television special

Simpson and PBS announced that a Christmas musical special will air in the fall, in promotion with Simpson's new Christmas album. The special, entitled "Jessica Simpson: Happy Christmas" was available to watch on November 25, 2010 on Simpson's official website, and premiered on Saturday prime-time television on December 4, 2010. The show features Simpson singing a collection of Christmas hits from Happy Christmas and her first holiday album Rejoyce: The Christmas Album. Simpson was also joined by special guests including sister Ashlee Simpson, Trey Lorenz, Willie Nelson, and Carly Simon. This is the second Christmas TV special featuring Simpson, the first being "Nick and Jessica's Family Christmas" with ex-husband Nick Lachey.

Track listing

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."My Only Wish"
3:53
2."Here Comes Santa Claus" / "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
3:03
3."O Come O Come Emmanuel"Pearce
  • Stewart
  • Nash
  • Pearce[b]
  • Harrell[b]
4:20
4."I'll Be Home for Christmas" (duet with John Britt)
  • Stewart
  • Nash
  • Pearce[b]
  • Harrell[b]
4:39
5."Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"
  • Stewart
  • Nash
  • Pearce[b]
  • Harrell[b]
3:43
6."Mary Did You Know"
  • Stewart
  • Nash
  • Pearce[b]
  • Harrell[b]
3:27
7."Merry Christmas Baby" (duet with Willie Nelson)
  • Stewart
  • Nash
  • Pearce[b]
  • Harrell[b]
4:57
8."Kiss Me for Christmas"
  • Nash
  • Stewart
  • Simpson
  • Stewart
  • Nash
  • Pearce[b]
  • Harrell[b]
4:57
9."Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
  • Stewart
  • Nash
  • Pearce[b]
  • Harrell[b]
4:04
10."Carol of the Bells"
  • Stewart
  • Nash
  • Pearce[b]
  • Harrell[b]
3:12
11."Jingle Bell Rock"
  • Joe Beal
  • Jim Boothe
  • Stewart
  • Nash
  • Pearce[b]
  • Harrell[b]
2:57
12."Silent Night"Franz Xaver Gruber
  • Stewart
  • Nash
  • Pearce[b]
  • Harrell[b]
3:49
Total length:47:01
Notes
  • ^a signifies a vocal producer
  • ^b signifies a co-producer

Personnel

Credits for Happy Christmas adapted from Allmusic.[10]

  • Lou Baxter – composer
  • Joe Beal – composer
  • Chris Bellman – mastering
  • Ralph Blane – composer
  • Jim Boothe – composer
  • John Britt – duet
  • Cacee Cobb – A&R
  • Martin Cooke – assistant vocal engineer
  • J. Fred Coots – composer
  • Steven Dennis – assistant engineer
  • Kim Gannon – composer
  • Michelle Gayhart – copyist
  • Haven Gillespie – composer, lyricist
  • Buddy Greene – composer
  • Josh Grabelle – art direction, design, layout
  • Franz Xaver Gruber – composer
  • Josh Gudwin – vocal engineer
  • Christy Hall – production coordination
  • Kuk Harrell – producer, vocal engineer, vocal producer
  • Travis Harrington – assistant engineer
  • Wayne Haun – orchestration, string arrangements
  • Tom Hemby – guitar
  • Jeremy Hunter – string arrangements, string engineer
  • Walter Kent – composer
  • Mykola Leontovich – composer
  • John Lennon – composer
  • Mark Lowry – composer
  • Richard Madenfort – guitar
  • Hugh Martin – composer
  • John "Dudley" Moore – composer
  • Terius "The-Dream" Nash – composer, executive producer, producer
  • Willie Nelson – duet
  • Yoko Ono – composer
  • Ken Oriole – mixing assistant
  • Aaron Pearce – arranger, composer, producer, programming, string arrangements, background vocals
  • Buck Ram – composer
  • Anibal Rojas – tenor saxophone
  • Norman Jean Roy – cover photo
  • Jason Sherwood – assistant engineer
  • Jessica Simpson – composer
  • Christopher " C. Tricky" Stewart – composer, executive producer, producer
  • Brian "B-Luv" Thomas – engineer
  • Michael Thompson – guitar
  • Andrew Wuepper – engineer, mixing
  • Peter J. Wilhousky – composer

Charts

Chart (2010) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[7] 123[11]
US Top Holiday Albums[7] 23
US Independent Albums[7] 9

Release history

Region Date Label
Canada[12] November 22, 2010 EMI
Primary Wave Music
eleveneleven
Germany[13]
United Kingdom[14]
United States

References

Template:Jessica Simpson

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