Antoinette Wagner, President of Alliance Française of Tucson says about "Noël
"Don Sheppard is a musical phenomenon who, this time, manages to bring us both French and
American Christmas songs co-mingled together. Noël éclectique is sure
to touch all of us who grew up on both sides of the Atlantic.
His French is flawless. Vive la nostalgie!"
Carol Swanson, Reviewer for ChristmasReviews.com:
"Parlez-vous francais? Non? Oui? It matters not--regardless of how multilingual the listener,
Noël éclectique is a charmer. Don Sheppard, an unabashed Francophile,
presents a pleasing mix of 14 Christmas songs, mostly in French. Note, however, that many of the French tunes are well-known
holiday standards that will be immediately recognizable to all. The ample liner notes provide the lyrics, including any necessary
I must confess up front to a certain personal bias regarding this CD. Upon graduating from college,
I spent a year teaching English in a university at Clermont-Ferrand, France, and it was one of the great adventures of my
life. While there, I was a very minor chanteuse in the local choir; as a result, I am automatically favorably predisposed
to embrace Sheppard's chansons with open arms. After hearing the album, I'm still giving Noël éclectique
Sheppard made a great choice by including the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus on
five tracks. The boys add an extra layer of musicality and a kids' sense of fun, both big benefits when crafting an upbeat
album for Christmas. The CD opens to the sounds of children's laughter and bells--both of the sleigh and church variety--quite
the appropriate beginning to a holiday album. Sheppard has a fine, light baritone voice that confidently possesses the lyrics,
whether in French or English.
My favorite tracks include Noël Nouvelet with its addictive percussive
beat, the Boys Chorus' excellent a cappella treatment of Carol of the Bells, and the synthesizer-driven Les
Anges dans nos Campagnes (Angels We Have Heard on High), which combines strong vocals by Sheppard and the Boys
Hankering for a trip to Paris for the holidays? Plopping Sheppard's Noël éclectique
onto your audio system would be infinitely more cost effective! Au revoir!