A Christmas miracle: Eagles offensive linemen strike gold again with “A Philly Special Christmas Special”

671
"Travis’ vocals effectively shine through, with a deep and clear tone that pairs perfectly with Jason’s sound." - Arts & Entertainment Editor / Al Harmon

After the success of their first holiday compilation album “A Philly Special Christmas,” which raised over $1.25 million for local charities, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce and offensive tackles Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata, aka The Philly Specials, have returned to produce a sequel. Releasing “A Philly Special Christmas Special” on Dec. 1, the three Eagles offensive linemen look to dominate not just on the football field, but in the recording studio. Bringing on their fellow friends, teammates, and some special guests, The Philly Specials successfully reimagine iconic holiday hits, adding a unique “city of brotherly love (or “shove”) spin to the classic sounds of the season.

Running through eleven holiday songs, The Philly Specials start with their version of Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song” and finish with a calm, peaceful performance of the farewell ballad “Auld Lang Syne”. 

One of the main highlights of “Christmas Special” lies in the singing abilities of Jordan. Once again proving he’s only in the National Football League (NFL) to bolster his music career, the Australian rugby player turned NFL star dazzled with his beautiful tone and powerful voice, delivering jaw-dropping renditions of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” and a duet with Philly native and “Godmother of Soul” Patti LaBelle on Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas.” 

Considering Jordan was an impressive contestant on season seven of the singing competition show “The Masked Singer,” it’s no surprise he carries himself so well in “Christmas Special.” On his own, and paired with Jason and Lane’s gritty, deep growls, Jordan showcases his show-stopping musical talent and profound vocal presence and proves he can hang with professional vocalists like Patti. 

Another amazing song featured in “Christmas Special” was a remastered edition of English punk-band The Pogues duet “Fairytale of New York,” rewritten and performed by NFL brothers Jason and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Reborn as “Fairytale of Philadelphia,” the “New Heights” podcast co-hosts put a Philly spin on this emotional ballad, an energetic back-and-forth dynamic that perfectly narrates a brotherly bond.

Travis’ vocals effectively shine through, with a deep and clear tone that pairs perfectly with Jason’s sound. In a style reminiscent of a sea shanty, the Kelce brothers showed they don’t just excel as athletes in their respective positions, but as a singing duo. 

The Swifties and 92%ers seemed to agree, with the song reaching number one on Billboard’s Rock and Holiday Digital Songs sales charts the week of its release.

Sticking with the theme of family, Jason’s eldest daughter Wyatt Kelce also gets a song on this album along with her friends, performing the iconic introductory tune “Christmas Time is Here” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio from Charles M. Schulz’s 1965 animated television special “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” 

Along with the jazz elements of the background instrumentals, including prominent tenor saxophone solos, “A Philly Special Christmas Special ” shows off some incredible production work and attention to detail. 

With cameos by Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, defensive end Brandon Graham, defensive tackle Jordan Davis, and other beloved players and staff, this album is a personal memento to the Eagles organization and the entire city of Philadelphia. 

The best part, all the album’s vinyl sales go towards various Philadelphia charities like Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia(CHOP), Children’s Crisis Treatment Center (CCTC), and many more. With that unselfish act, Santa Claus has to put the people of Philadelphia on his nice list this year, even though they pelted him with snowballs at an Eagles game a few decades ago. But that was in 1968, hopefully, he’s had enough time to forgive them.

Overall, “A Philly Special Christmas Special” serves as a fun and joyful memento to celebrate the season. A perfect addition to holiday playlists everywhere, The Philly Specials festive album is a must-listen for all football fans (Except Dallas Cowboys fans, this doesn’t apply to you). 

In the spirit of two holidays, Christmas and an Eagles game day, I encourage all Birds fans to play “A Philly Special: Christmas Special” to pregame the Birds taking on the New York Giants at the Linc on Christmas Day, as their quest for another Super Bowl victory continues. 

For comments/questions about this story DM us on Instagram @thewhitatrowan or email the.whit.arts@gmail.com

Comment