*Cracks knuckles* So let's begin with track 1: It's a Pony Kind of Christmas!
First off, I need to get this out of the way... I know this is a theme album based around the most popular December holiday of Christmas, and I'm sure making "Hearthswarming" work instead would have been a daunting task, but still... as a theme album... I'd really liked to see more Hearthswarming than Christmas. This will be the last you'll hear of that!
So... this is a very generic tone of a Christmas song. That isn't bad, and the arrangement is unique and rather good. Combining many common threads of Christmas music, including choir style vocals, marching drums, folk instruments and bells. In fact the first time I listened it bothered me because it sounded like a cover. But it is more complicated than that....
This is an ORIGINAL song with a MEDLEY of homages to popular music, which is done rather tastefully, and masterfully with smooth transitions. It brought me back to an unused song from the second EQG movie, Pony through the ages (or something, I honestly don't remember and it isn't important to this review in particular). The reason why I bring it up, is because I felt that that was a poor use of transitions where they felt clunky and at times out of place, while here they felt far more organic and smooth. Pinkie's movement was a bit jarring, but they intentionally did that to escalate the song to the climax.
As for some technical things, the instruments, being computer generated for the most part don't always sound natural. And that isn't a bad thing usually, they use samples. What ends up happening is that the decay of resonance doesn't always match real world. Some instruments like bells which are often muted to avoid overtones it works. But other instruments like the marching drum sound artificial at times, not resonating where I would expect them to. The guitar and other string instruments have some exceedingly good samples though and at times I was taken aback by the quality making me thing they had the actual instruments. Personally I'd be curious if they did have any of the actual instruments, but I somehow doubt it. Either way, the samples Ingram has loaded on his workflow station are fantastic, and I'm not overly bothered. They are noteworthy but not debilitating as they sometimes can be. (this will also probably be brought up again across all the songs of the album, but it isn't really Ingram's fault, as it would be hard to get a full band to record an album like this)
The vocals, are great. They clearly recorded together, and the choiresque style of the vocals with uplifting harmonies just work so incredibly well. Even the three solos that played homage to more popular songs. And I'm sure this was intentional, but the solos were basically teasers for future songs on the album. I'm quite frankly not sure how to feel about that. On the one hand it is a cute way to wet the appetite of listeners, especially since they are different from the arrangements used in the actual songs. On the other hand, I feel like they could have used something else to fill those moments. But it isn't something I'll put too much thought into or really criticize the song over.
Really, as an introduction into a Pony Christmas Album, this did it's job and it did it's job well. Did it have issues but it did what it needed to do. Overall I'd give the song a 7/10. It is good, not great, but good.