When I first saw The Christmas Album, I did not recognize the bloke on the cover and I was intrigued by the legs holding up the giant white snowball. He looks more than a little like that guy from The Office, Veep, Playing House and Silicon Valley, which are all favorite shows of mine. His name escapes me now but that is why God gave us the interwebs.
Okay, so its not him but they both have noses and ears so I was close. Starting the disc and the first track "Shake Up Christmas" gives no further clues other than this isn't the guy who originally sang that Coke commercial but then the second song "I Believe In Father Christmas" comes on and the mannerisms are clear - it's the guy from Spandau Ballet (Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi) and he sounds more or less like he did back in the Eighties. Hadley plays to his strengths, singing mostly ballads and a few uptempo covers. I give him integrity points for not tackling "Last Christmas" though his cover of Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" seems odd for a Christmas disc until I remember Lily Allen co-opted it for a Christmas commercial and charity a couple of years back. Hadley slyly included a lone original composition about being younger when Santa Claus was his best friend amongst the sixteen songs, ensuring a larger slice of the royalty pie. His take on "Driving Home For Christmas" is probably my favorite track on the disc though I have yet to skip a single track in the three times I've spun The Christmas Album. Wonder how this album is doing in his native UK? Well, according to the interwebs, Mr. Hadley was recently voted off a reality show and despite the attendant publicity, The Christmas Album has failed to chart. Consulting Amazon UK, the album as currently listed as the 621st best seller out of all albums. And I still don't know whose legs those are.