For almost as long as she’s been making music, Angaleena Presley has championed the more emotional side of country music. It’s the kind of music fans lap up, too.
“Angaleena is like a modern-day Ray Charles or Willie Nelson,” singer Miranda Lambert told the Times Record news newspaper in 2015. “She talks about her soul and heart more than anybody I’ve ever seen.”
And when you’re a certified soul goddess with a winning live show — including a big gig at the 2015 Stagecoach Country Music Festival — why wouldn’t you share your message with fans? That’s exactly what Presley and sisters Ashley Monroe and Monroe Pope did last weekend when they released “Annie Up,” their first holiday album.
Fans think their old-school soul covers are cute and catchy, but the classy emoticons and emoticons that fill the album cover are a bit, well, more conversational than thoughtful. They’re also a bit overly busy. There’s a bit too much tie-dye, a too much computer graphics and a too much obligatory emotional puller.
Or maybe they’re just overworked. The trio were back in the studio last year working on a sequel to their 2012 holiday album, “Annie Up,” which has reached the No. 1 spot on several charts, including Billboard’s country chart.
No word on when the sequel will be released, or if there’s a Christmas song in the works. But here’s hoping that when the album does arrive, it’s a faster seller than Christmas trees.
The title track is upbeat and cheesy, calling for a “blessed and joyous” Christmas. It’s right up there with the writers of “Ave Maria” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”
Presley, Monroe and Pope have captured the spirit of the season for the alt-country fans who have fallen in love with them. They’re the Unholy Trinity of Hot Country Music.
Just not the traditional kind.