Photos by Nick Tomecek
Oh Gwen, you sleigh.
When my eyes met Gwen Stefani’s 2017 record “You Make It Feel like Christmas,” I couldn’t help myself; I bought it. I immediately fell in love with Stefani’s pouty expression on the album art, and I yearned to hear her rendition of Christmas classics such as “Santa Baby” and “White Christmas.”
Listening to Stefani is a little nostalgic, because she was a legend in my household. My mom loved No Doubt when I was a child, and I can remember identifying with the tongue-in-cheek female empowerment song “Just a Girl” at a young age. I also feel as if I should point out Stefani looks no different today than she did in the 1995 music video.
Her bold personal style and variety of music genre styles ranging from reggae to ska to alternative rock to pop made her the ultimate role model. She has it all.
When Stefani owned the stage with No Doubt, my family and I were there for it. When she made waves as a solo artist with her 2004 record “Love.Angel.Music.Baby,” I was there for it. When she released the 2006 record “The Sweet Escape,” I was there for it.
So, when Stefani releases a Christmas album that looks sweeter than candy, obviously, I’m here for it. Hello, Gwen, at your service.
The holiday record has the retro, rockabilly flair you expect from Stefani, but, frankly, it only partially feels like Christmas. Here’s why:
Gwen cheated and put two albums in one. The first is a holiday album, and the second is a country-influenced romance album dedicated to her boyfriend, Blake Shelton. “My Gift is You,” “When I Was a Little Girl,” “Never Kissed Anyone With Blue Eyes Before You” and “You Make It Feel Like Christmas” (featuring Shelton) are on the latter.
The obvious ode to her boyfriend is sweet, but isn’t she supposed to be making it feel like Christmas?
I’ll admit the title track truly is charming. I’m secretly tickled by the whole thing. I’m picturing Shelton and Stefani in Christmas aprons on a ranch while writing a Hallmark movie trilogy about how opposites attract. I’ll run the credits to “Under the Christmas Lights.”
But, if Gwen is happy, my whole house is happy.
Let's move on to the holiday classics. The opening track, “Jingle Bells,” sets the jolly tone, and “Silent Night,” highlights Stefani’s baby-esque vocals. “Last Christmas” and “White Christmas” have pleasant sounds, perfect for easy listening on Christmas Eve.
My favorite is “Santa Baby,” but only because I’ve been waiting my whole life to hear her sing it. It’s perfect for Stefani’s sultry vocals, and it matches the tone of the album cover.
Now, let me gush for a moment. The album art is too darling for words. The back and interior of the album feature photos of Gwen in ball gowns next to a vintage Christmas tree. This record is worth purchasing for the album art alone.
If you need a record to spin while decorating your Christmas tree or baking cookies, or even to hang on the wall as holiday décor, this is it, no doubt.
Watch Stefani and Shelton perform "You Make It Feel Like Christmas" on NBC's TV show "The Voice."
Coat - styleme
Top - H&M
Earrings and skirt - Forever 21
Boots - Gianni Bini