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Various Artists

Hear Something Country Christmas 2007

(RCA; US: 2 Oct 2007; UK: Available as import)

Hear Something Country Christmas 2007 is truly a mixed bag of something old and something new. The disc features both newer artists along with some familiar faces on the country scene singing on a sizeable chunk of holiday favorites and a few new country carols. Offering something for nearly every strain of country music enthusiast, this is the perfect offering to slap on while trimming the tree together or just lounging around with a glass of Rock ‘n’ Rye and savoring the season.


Alan Jackson’s original “Let It Be Christmas” is a warm, fuzzy ode to snow on the ground and fond holiday memories while Montgomery Gentry offers a less traditional take on holiday togetherness.  Offsetting the band’s down-home sense of humor, “Merry Christmas From the Family” is a modern missive to loveably dysfunctional families, adding a heady dose of (state store) spirits to the season. Kenny Chesney adds a twist to the old Christmas standard, “Jingle Bells” by giving it a jolt of Caribbean and Latin flavoring to spice up its countrified sound. On a completely different note, Phil Vassar’s original, “Let’s Make a Little Christmas Tonight” sticks out like a sore thumb, more adult contemporary/R&B than country.  Nevertheless, like an extra shot of rum in the eggnog, it breaks things up a bit on the otherwise traditional leaning disc.


Even newer ladies on the scene with more of a pop-crossover appeal do it up with more of an old-school country style. American Idol alums, Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler make an appearance on the disc. Underwood’s clear voice is lovely, yet powerful on “Do You Hear What I Hear” while Pickler vamps it up on “Santa Baby”, sounding like a countrified version of Britney Spears (before she became truly “not that innocent”) and retaining a bit of Eartha Kitt’s playfulness from the original. Closing out the disc is the unexpected treat of Johnny Cash’s interpretation of “Silent Night” with Cash’s solemn, sincere baritone bringing home genuine holiday feeling.

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