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Toby Keith

Classic Christmas

(Show Dog; US: 16 Oct 2007; UK: Available as import)

Toby Keith released a Christmas album in 1995, but that was comprised of all-original material. As its title would suggest, Classic Christmas goes for time-tested material, with one disc tackling secular “seasonal” songs and the other covering more spiritual territory. The choices are solid if predictable, and the arrangements are concise. Despite the unembellished instrumentation, there’s an air of that too-clean, MOR feeling about it. Keith has made little secret of his Christian faith, and on the religious disc in particular he sounds like he means it. He even manages to make “Little Drummer Boy” tolerable. Also, he gets points for resisting the temptation to bring in a parade of annoying “guests”. Still, this is pretty tame from the guy who once socked it to the Taliban, and you can’t help but feel an opportunity’s been missed.

Rating:

John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.


Tagged as: toby keith
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