I have mentioned previously that, when it comes to Christmas music, I prefer the classics, and I'm not the only one who's nostalgic for an era that ended long before I was born. John Legend is no doubt aware of this phenomenon—and he is likely as fixated on the seasonal sounds of the 1940s and 1950s as the rest of us—and his take on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is strictly old-school.
The track, featuring Esperanza Spalding, comes from Legend's album A Legendary Christmas, recently reviewed by the Straight's Mike Usinger:
Even if it’s meant as a clever play on his name, John Legend has a big pair of sugarplums for naming his first foray into holiday-season music A Legendary Christmas. At least he’s not far off the mark. The new-school R&B singer is smart enough to pack standards like “Silver Bells” with bold Stax-style horns and cinematic strings, and then round things out with classy obscurities (Marvin Gaye’s “Purple Snowflakes”) and silky originals (“Wrap Me Up in Your Love”).