“My Grown Up Christmas List” from Linda “Peaches” Tavani captures the fellowship and true-meaning of the season. In a world that is filled with fabrication and posed experiences, “My Grown Up Christmas List” from this soul singing legend is authentic and resonates with the power of love. Tavani, a former member of the duo Peaches & Herb, solidifies her rightful place in the halls of Christmas singers that I just can’t get enough of – she stands tall among the voices of Darlene Love, to Mariah Carey to Amy Grant – Tavani is a wonderful, positive force to have playing while you celebrate the holidays.
Tavani perfectly captures the spirit and meaning of this song. While other holiday favorites can feel like novelty or overplayed – it’s the way that Tavani paints such a dreamy soundscape. Her voice, polished and full of life, is a natural fit for the jazzy undercurrents and twinkling piano keys. At opportune moments, the horns play, reminding me of the classic holiday movies from a simpler time. I think the brass horns impress – not as much as Tavani’s vocals – but immediately transport the listener to a grand, joyous escape. You really feel alive and revel in her exuberant display. She sings with gusto, with might and most of all, she sings with heart. The percussion is subtle, just enough ruckus to keep you tip-toeing along, and bopping along to the rhythms hugging Tavani’s voice.
“My Grown Up Christmas List” is a song written by Amy Grant and David Foster. Grant’s version, which came out in 1992, is playful and contemporary. In my opinion, Tavani’s version has more substance. She brings more sparkle and pizzaz, and at the same time I think an angelic hierarchy. The words and the music lift up your spirits, but it’s Tavani’s voice that really wraps it all into one nice package. I just adored the way she sings, and I felt very privileged to experience her take on this charming song. It’s a quaint song – it might not have the tradition of “Silent Night” but it certainly takes you to a deeper place in your memory bank, and hopefully to a state-of-mind that puts a smile on your face. Tavani brings to this song what Frank Sinatra brought to pop music – pure gold. Just when you think she’s going to belt out, she keeps her cool and has a perfect range. I’m just in awe of her singing abilities.
Tavani is far away from her days singing “Shake Your Groove Thing” (1978) and “Reunited” (1979). Like any great song, her voice and these songs are timeless. I think she has another memorable hit on her hands – “My Grown Up Christmas List” is hopefully the first of many holiday hits from a familiar voice. I’m anxious to hear her tackle some other Christmas songs. It’s great to hear her voice in a new light and having Tavani sharing her talents for a new generation is just as special. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?