As Christmas fast approaches, the Festive music albums come thick and fast. The latest artist to offer a take on the Christmas music LP is Brandy. Ms Norwood announced the set with the release of a single – ‘Christmas Party For Two’. It was refreshing to have a new song for a change. Penned by Brandy with Theron “Neff-U” Feemster, Coleridge “Sebastian Kole” Tillman and  David Williams II, the song wasn’t a “party” track at all – rather a gentle, intimate romantic, little thing.

And the good news is that the just-released album, ‘Christmas With Brandy’ offers a number of other new songs. The LP opens with one of ‘em, ‘Feels Different’ . This is a crisp, soul/contemporary R&B groove and it’s (thankfully) free of Yuletide clichés. The other new ones are the Daryl Camper-penned ‘Somebody’s Waiting’, the rollicking ‘Christmas Gift’ (it features Brandy’s daughter Sy’Rai and owes something to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas’) and the bumpy, beater ‘Shine Your Light’.

But there’s no getting away from the usual Christmas fayre. So, if you’re up for it, you can enjoy Brandy’s treatment of  things like ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ and  ‘The Christmas Song;’. No female-led Christmas set would be complete without a version of ‘Santa Baby’  and Brandy offers a new perspective.  I’ll take that one but do we really need a star of Brandy’s stature to have a stab at the doggerel that is ‘Jingle Bells’? Best of the well-known Christmas items is the take on Ron Miller and Bryan Wells’ ‘Someday At Christmas’. Best known in the Stevie Wonder version, it’s becoming something of a Christmas standard!

‘Christmas With Brandy’ is out now and if you’re Stateside, the singer will take the stage at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23 to help ring in the season. She is also starring in the upcoming Netflix original film ‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’ alongside Heather Graham, which arrives November 16.