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Single Review: “Missing You Underneath the Mistletoe” Dianña

A glistening piano comes reaching out of the silence alongside a simple arrangement and suddenly a familiar tempo makes contact with a bright melody radiating from none other than Dianña. She lays into the new holiday standard “Missing You Underneath the Mistletoe” with a fragile ease that is both reserved and yet stunningly physical in the muscular master mix of the song. Steeped in swagger and ripping through the tepid pace of similar offerings with her signature steaminess, Dianña’s performance in this single is as stately and sweet as a Christmas tree, but her delivery of the song’s melody is unique and rooted in a style of rhythm and blues that is even older and more revered than the season itself.

The percussion picks up as we get into the guts of the track, rolling along to a bucolic beat that hypnotizes us in its staggering drone. In the distance, there’s an augmented harmony marching to a playful groove just begging for us to notice its opulence amid the flurry of words that are cascading from above. This arrangement of “Missing You Underneath the Mistletoe” is deceptively mathy and calculated; we become so magnetized by Dianña’s vocals that it’s easy to overlook some of the incredible play that her supporting band is giving up. None of the players compete for our attention though – the spotlight belongs to the singer exclusively, and her well-rounded execution is distracting, to put it mildly.

You really can’t go wrong with the beefy mix that this single sports, but in the case of an evocative holiday number like “Missing You Underneath the Mistletoe” it’s essential to creating that crackling fire-like warmth that has made staples of the genre instantly recognizable. The different parts duel with a clean, reverberating electricity in the break, all while Dianña struts around the rhythm with that angelic voice of hers. While devoid of all the pomp and grandeur that sometimes makes Christmas songs hard to digest in contrast to more straightforward pop tracks, this song still retains the exotic vibe that made so many a classic mandatory additions to any seasonal playlist. Dianña didn’t want to wholly recreate the past with “Missing You Underneath the Mistletoe,” but she wasn’t trying to do what so many singers have done with seasonal cuts before.

As we near the conclusion, every vividly produced and tightly wound component fuses in an assaultive, vicious wall of sound that is tempered only by the dominating timbre of Dianña’s vocal. After listening to this single over the last couple of days, I still haven’t completely determined which is bigger; the lush transmission of the lyrics or her emotionally cratering voice, which personally I think is more colorfully mixed in this track than in anything else I’ve heard her record before. Based on the gravity of what I hear in this song I’ve concluded that, if Dianña were so inclined, she could easily make an entire album of holiday covers that would light up a family gathering or a crowded Christmas party just the same. This release is tangible evidence that her talents know no true limits.


Benjamin Cross

About Michael Stover

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