Fans first met Katharine McPhee on Season Five of American Idol. The runner-up could seemingly sing any style of music, but especially mesmerized millions with her heart-stirring rendition of Over the Rainbow. Her first solo album, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 in early 2007, only hinted at the extent of her talentnot only as a singer but as a songwriter.
Unlike that first effort, McPhee co-wrote the majority of the songs on her second album, Unbroken, collaborating with fellow singer/songwriters Paula Cole, Ingrid Michaelson and Rachael Yamagata. This record is definitely more personal to me, McPhee says. I have more stories to tell. Its more of an artistic look at me as a person. Coming from a reality show, its hard to know the depth of somebody. This record gave me that opportunity to show that. Thats what Verve wanted from me: to make a record I was proud of. It was a huge blessing to give me that.
Her third studio album, Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You, capture's McPhee's love of the holiday season.
Christmas really is my favorite time of year, says McPhee. It takes a little imagination to be recording in the summer, but I dont need a ton of Christmas lights in the studio to inspire me. I know these songs so well. These are the songs I listened to growing up. Hopefully my versions will be unique, but at the same time timeless; full and rich yet simple and intimate.
The title track of the CD, Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You, is a rarely covered song originally recorded by rocker Billy Squier in 1981. The album will also be filled with familiar classics, whether traditional or contemporary, from O Holy Night and This Christmas to a medley of Away In A Manger/O Little Town Of Bethlehem and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas featuring trumpeter Chris Botti.