Entertainment Weekly - 11/12/93, p.59
"...Aaron Neville truly does sing like an angel..." - Rating: B
Vibe - 12/93-1/94, p.154
"...SOULFUL CHRISTMAS is a delicious cross between wonderfully sung, non-religion-specific traditionals and the God jams...a groovy collection for all..."
Personnel includes: Aaron Neville (vocals); Dean Parks, Paul Jackson, Jr., Bob Mann (guitars); Amy Schulman (harp); Jon Clarke (woodwinds); Plas Johnson (saxophone); Jim Cox (piano, organ, keyboards); Lee Sklar, Freddie Washington, Jim Hughart (bass); Ed Greene, John Guerin (drums).
Personnel: Aaron Neville (vocals); Dorian Holley, Jim Gilstrap (vocals, background vocals); Andrea Robinson, Gabe Veltri, Gary Falcone, Jackie Gouche, Brett Hudson, Lynne Mabrey, Joey Diggs, Joseph Powell, Alex Brown, Mark Hudson, Raven Kane, Stephanie Spruill, Carmen Twillie (vocals); Dean Parks, Jackson Jr., Paul Jackson, Jr. , Bob Mann (guitar); Amy Schulman (harp); Jon Clarke (woodwinds); Vince Denham (saxophone, horns, background vocals); Lon Price, Tom Timko (saxophone, horns); Plas Johnson (saxophone); Lee Thornburg, Dennis Farias (horns); Jim Cox (organ, keyboards); James Cox (keyboards); Steve Forman (vibraphone, percussion, bells); Keith "Bass Drum Shorty" Frazier (drums, bass drum); Ed Greene, John Guerin, Ajay Mallery (drums); M.B. Gordy (bells); Darryl Phinnessee, Rick Nelson, Kevin Dorsey (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Bill Schnee.
Recording information: Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA; New Orleans Recording Company.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Jackson Jr.; Lon Price.
Arrangers: Aaron Neville; Steve Lindsey.
Aaron Neville's Soulful Christmas is at once familiar yet progressive, traditional, prayerful, heartfelt, fun, and sexy. Neville lends his angelic voice to timeless holiday standards, resulting in one of the more compelling American holiday albums of the 1990s. Neville's treatment of classics such as "O Holy Night," "Silent Night," and "O Little Town of Bethlehem" is absolutely stirring, and he infuses these lullabies with so much warmth and sincerity that they can even touch the hardest, most cynical audiences. Neville also covers more contemporary tunes, such as "Please Come Home for Christmas," and augments his warm renditions of "The Christmas Song" and "White Christmas" with classic pop arrangements, filled with lush strings, piano, and even saxophone. The real gems, however, include the irresistibly swingin' "Such a Night," which should become mandatory for any Christmas party, and the equally intoxicating, hand clapping "Louisiana Christmas Day." The album ends on a spiritual tone with the tender "Star Carol" and the moving, organ-accompanied "The Bells of St. Mary's." Neville wholly succeeds in crafting a fun, Cajun-spiced yet traditional Christmas album, which manages to capture all of the joy, passion, spirituality ,and nostalgia which goes along with the holiday season. ~ Jose F. Promis