Christmas Gift (album)

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For the Alexandra Burke EP, see Christmas Gift (EP).
Christmas Gift
French edition slipcase cover
Studio album by Kokia
Released October 22, 2008 (2008-10-22) (France)[1]
November 12, 2008 (2008-11-12) (Japan)
Recorded 2008
Genre J-pop, folk, Christmas carol
Length 1:01:52 (Japanese Edition)
1:03:07 (French Edition)
Label Victor Entertainment, Wasabi Records
Producer Kokia
Kokia chronology
Fairy Dance: Kokia Meets Ireland
(2008)
Christmas Gift
(2008)
Love Tears
(2008)

Christmas Gift is Kokia's eighth studio album, released in October/November 2008.[2] It is her first full-length Christmas album, though she had released a special Christmas EP for fans, A Piece of Christmas, in November 2006. It is the final of four albums released in 2008 to celebrate her 10th anniversary as a singer.

One song from the album, "Kokoro no Rōsoku," features on Kokia's 2009 greatest hits collection Coquillage: The Best Collection II.[3]

Recording[edit]

Kokia began recording the album in May 2008, though refused to mention what the sessions were for.[4] In September, the album was still gradually being recorded, with Kokia working with producer Kiyohide Ura for several tracks.[5] The album was confirmed in Kokia's blog on September the 1st, though recording was still continuing at this point.[6]

Kokia also travelled to New York for a week to record for her "Remember the Kiss Music Gift" project in early September.[7] These sessions were for Kokia's special Music Gift EP, which featured Christmas recordings.[8] One of the songs from these sessions, "Remember the Kiss (Dedicated to "New" NY)," was released as a bonus track on the Japanese edition.[2] It was recorded on the organ with a church choir at the Institutional Church of God Church in Brooklyn.[9][10]

Song selection[edit]

Of the songs included in the album, 12 are covers and three are original Kokia songs (if counting medley songs and bonus tracks).

Of the covers, five are religious Christmas carols: "Amazing Grace," "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear," "The Little Drummer Boy," "The First Noël" and "We Three Kings of Orient Are". Four of the songs are secular Christmas songs: "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Jingle Bells," "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" and "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town." Three of these four secular songs are a part of the Christmas medley.

Two songs are covers of songs not directly related to Christmas by popular Western musicians. The first is Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," and the second is Queen's Japanese song, "Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)."

"Ave Maria" is a re-recording of the Vladimir Fyodorovich Vavilov classical piece of music, originally found on Kokia's "The Voice" album. In the Christmas Gift version it is sung in a different key, with different lyrics (Girolamo Savonarola's 1495 Hail Mary prayer in Latin)).

Release[edit]

Much like Kokia's first album released on Wasabi Records, Aigakikoeru: Listen for the Love, it was released in France prior to the Japanese release. The French edition was released on October 22, three weeks before the Japanese release.[1][2]

Christmas Gift was also simultaneously released in France as a part of a 3CD set called Kokia Collection. The album also featured 2006's Aigakikoeru: Listen for the Love 2008's and The Voice, and featured a cover similar to the Christmas Gift photoshoot cover.[11]

Reception[edit]

The album reached #56 on the Japanese Oricon albums charts, selling 3,000 copies.[12] CDJournal called the album a "Christmas song selection you can enjoy with your family."[13]

Track listing[edit]

The French and Japanese versions were released with different track orders. The Japanese version also had a bonus track, "Remember the Kiss (Dedicated to "New" NY)."

French tracklist
No. Title Writer(s) Arranger(s) Length
1. "Amazing Grace"   John Newton Kokia 4:46
2. "Ave Maria"   Vavilov Ryōsuke Nakanishi 3:00
3. "I'll Be Home for Christmas"   Buck Ram, Kim Gannon, Walter Kent Nakanishi 4:15
4. "Christmas Medley: Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!, The Little Drummer Boy, The First Noël, Jingle Bells"   J. Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie, Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne, Katherine K. Davis, Traditional, James Lord Pierpont Sunny 13:19
5. "Hallelujah"   Leonard Cohen Kiyohide Ura 4:41
6. "Sei Naru Yoru ni (Holy Night) (聖なる夜に~holy night In the Holy Night?)"   Kokia Ura 4:34
7. "Kokoro no Rōsoku (心のロウソク Candle in the Heart?)"   Kokia Kokia 5:33
8. "We Three Kings of Orient Are"   John Henry Hopkins, Jr. Yasuhisa Yamamoto 4:36
9. "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear"   Edmund Sears Yamamoto 5:09
10. "Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)"   Brian May Sunny 4:33

Japan sales rankings[edit]

A sample of Kokia's cover of the contemporary standard "Hallelujah."

A sample of Kokia's cover of the traditional Christmas song "We Three Kings."

Problems playing these files? See media help.
Release Chart Peak position First week sales Sales total
February 20, 2008 (2008-02-20) Oricon Weekly Albums Chart[12] 56 2,297 3,020

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "KOKIA - Christmas Gift" (in French). Wasabi Records. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  2. ^ a b c "KOKIA|Christmas gift|@Victor Entertainment" (in Japanese). Victor Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  3. ^ "[CD] Coquillage ~The Best Collection II~ [初回生産限定盤] ". Neowing (in Japanese). Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  4. ^ 秘密のレコーディング ♪. 'Otonami' Music Translater Kokia's Blog (in Japanese). 2008-05-01. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  5. ^ 浦さんとレコーディング ♪. 'Otonami' Music Translater Kokia's Blog (in Japanese). 2008-07-14. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  6. ^ 産卵の時期 ♪. 'Otonami' Music Translater Kokia's Blog (in Japanese). 2008-09-01. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  7. ^ ニューヨーク6日目 ♪. 'Otonami' Music Translater Kokia's Blog (in Japanese). 2008-09-11. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  8. ^ "December 1st". 'Otonami' Music Translater Kokia's Blog (in Japanese). 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  9. ^ それぞれに. 'Otonami' Music Translater Kokia's Blog (in Japanese). 2008-09-05. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  10. ^ ニューヨーク3日目 ♪. 'Otonami' Music Translater Kokia's Blog (in Japanese). 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  11. ^ "Kokia Integrale - Listen for the love + The voice + Christmas gift [Bande originale]". Amazon.fr (in French). Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  12. ^ a b "オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」". Oricon. Retrieved 2010-04-03.  (subscription only)
  13. ^ "KOKIA / Christmas gift" (in Japanese). CDJournal. Retrieved 2010-04-03.