Christmas is a time for disparate family members to remember why they don’t hang around one another more often. Think Global: World Christmas is a bit like that. Taken individually the songs are better than you might expect from a Christmas CD, being neither sugary-sappy nor hipster-ironic, but the splattering merengue of Reynold’s “Tormenta Navideña” doesn’t sit comfortably on the same album as the morose Swedish loveliness of Triakel’s “Torspar-Julaftas-Våggvisa”. Ensemble Choral Du Bout Du Monde’s “Nedeleg” and Joseph Spence’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” might as well have sprung from different planets. The first is gauze. The second is grit. Treat this as an adventurous sampler of interesting, sometimes surprising, songs rather than a Christmas album as such, and there’s a lot to like about it. On the plus side, you won’t get bored.
// Notes from the Road
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