R&B fans were elated this past summer when R&B legend Raphael Saadiq announced he had reunited with Tony! Toni! Toné! for a fall tour. The tour kicked off this past Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama, with twenty-five planned stops. I plan on attending the Oxon Hill, MD, stop this coming Monday.
Slow Jam Saturday : Anthony Hamilton, What Do the Lonely Do at Christmas
Anthony Hamilton was nearly two decades into his career, with five albums to his credit, when he released his first Christmas album, Home for the Holidays, in 2014. Hamilton’s Christmas project featured the usual Christmas standards such as “The Christmas Song,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” and “Please Come Home for Christmas.” There were also covers of soul classics, such as James Brown’s “Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto” and this week’s Slow Jam Saturday pick, “What Do the Lonely Do at Christmas?”
Originally performed by The Emotions and written by Homer Banks, Hamilton works with producers, The Avilla Brothers, to put a modern spin on the Stax Records classic. As Hamilton croons the lyrics:
“Tis the season to be jolly
But how can I be when I have nobody?
The Yuletide carol doesn’t make it better
Knowing that we won’t be together
A silent night
I know it’s gonna be
Joy to the world, but it’s gonna be sad for me
What do the lonely do at Christmas?
Oh-oh, what do the lonely do at Christmas time.”
The listener feels the pain in his voice. Hamilton, who holds no qualms about his love for his spouse in the real world, entirely sells the song, mainly when the singer goes into the falsetto range. While The Emotions version is still in my rotation, Anthony Hamilton does a beautiful job making it his own.
Final Grade: B+
“What Do the Lonely Do at Christmas?” from Home for the Holidays is available on all streaming platforms.
More reviews to explorer
The year was 1981, and a music legend in the making, Prince was slowly crafting his musical royalty legacy. Before releasing his fourth album, Controversy, Prince introduced the band The Time to the world with their self-titled debut album.
Walden production begins the song with an ethereal and haunting intro, setting a melancholy tone that resonates throughout the track. Mrs. Knight’s plea for love is evident as she passionately expresses her need to hold on to her partner’s affection, emphasizing the intensity of her emotions.