Not The Same Ol’ Ho Ho Ho: Round Two

More Christmas discs to slip

What's that sound? Is it Elvis rolling in his grave?
What's that sound? Is it Elvis rolling in his grave?

You may be baking cookies or trying to figure out which big screen television will be gracing your wall (and how you’re going to pay for it) for the holidays. I’m headed back to the mailbox to see what else is new in Christmas discs this year.

Elvis Presley
Christmas Duets (RCA)
The repackaging of Elvis’ Christmas catalog comes in the form of "duets" with some of country music’s divas. Whether the King would have actually wanted to record with Carrie Underwood, Leeann Rimes, and Gretchen Wilson is open to discussion.

Al Jarreau
Christmas (Rhino)
Jarreau’s first attempt at the holiday cannon is a smooth jazz lover’s delight. You’ve been warned.

Various Artists
A Jazz & Blues Christmas (Putumayo)
B.B. King, Ray Charles, and Ramsey Lewis head this list of offbeat offerings. Recommended for those looking for something beyond the same ol’ ho ho ho.

Sheryl Crow
Home for Christmas (Hallmark)
Available only at Hallmark stores and not especially engaging. Crow’s fans might find some delight here.

Brian McKnight
I’ll Be Home for Christmas (Razor & Tie)
Sweet R&B grooves and pleasing duets with the likes of Vince Gill, Josh Groban, and Take 6 make McKnight’s second Christmas disc a keeper.

Randy Travis
Christmas On the Pecos (Image)
New Mexico isn’t the first place that comes to mind at Christmas, but Travis makes it work with his easygoing style. As TV shows go, this one is as country as it gets.

Rosie Thomas
A Very Rosie Christmas (Sing-A-Long)
Seattle’s answer to Shawn Colvin, Thomas brings an indie-folk spirit to traditional tunes and gets extra points for transforming the Chipmunks' “Christmas Don’t Be Late” into a hymn.

Kristin Chenoweth
A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas (Sony Classical)
Her Betty Boop voice might take getting used to, but Chenoweth’s take on holiday tunes is as traditional and sticky as an extra large candy cane.

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More Xmas CDs
Not the Same Ol’ Ho Ho Ho
Not the Same Ol’ Ho Ho Ho
A sampling of 2008 holiday discs

Jim Caligiuri, Nov. 26, 2008

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017


Xmas CDs, Elvis, Sheryl Crow, Al Jarreau, Kristin Chenoweth, Rosie Thomas, Randy Travis, Brian McKnight

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