You know from the first notes of Jon Pardi's "All I Want For Christmas" that this is going to be good album as it starts off with a steel guitar intro. Later, there is also a twin fiddle solo. These elements reveal how this track is a true country version. It's also executed well, which makes this old holiday warhorse of a song somehow sound fresh and new. It's one of 12 winners and proves once again what a gift Pardi is to us all.
The content is consistently secular, with only a gospel-y verse from "Amazing Grace" providing a nod to the spiritual at the end "Please Come Home For Christmas." It's also mostly fun, exemplified by the rousing holiday drinking song "Beer For Santa." There is also a sultry number, "I've Been Bad, Santa," with the perfectly cast Pillbox Patti as Pardi's naughty singing partner. Additionally, Pardi covers the wonderful, and truly sad seasonal Counting Crows song, "A Long December."
It's just so good to hear familiar songs done so well. For instance, Pardi gives "Let It Snow" a part western swing/part big band arrangement. The man that gifted the world with the pun-y "Tequila Time," returns with a stormy, pun-based little heartbreak song in "Reindeer." The album also includes "Merry Christmas From The Keys," which celebrates those that live in climes where it likely never snows this time of year.
Holiday albums are many times seen as stopgap measures between regular studio albums. However, "Merry Christmas From Jon Pardi" is so darn good, it should be considered an essential purchase from Pardi's record catalogue.