STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 147073-21478 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
I must confess I was not looking forward to listening to this album. Despite their huge CCM success in the USA I'd always found most of the output from the various lineups of the girl group to be underwhelming while the only Christmas song of theirs I remember hearing, "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow", I thought unbearably twee. But, having noted that "Let It Snow" wasn't on this compilation put together for America's Cracker Barrel Old Country Store retail chain, I put this on the CD player trying my best not to sound like a journalistic Scrooge. It was a tough call. From the gushing rendition of "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" opener to the closing "Home For The Holidays" segued with "Silver Bells" the mixture of shrill voices and arrangements which were sometimes floridly orchestral and sometimes jazzy big band, the effect on me was far from festive. There are one or two better moments, the beauty of Chris Eaton/Amy Grant's "Breath Of Heaven" still shines through while the banality of "Jingle Bells" is lifted by the sheer invention of its neo-jazzy arrangement. But too often a tone of saccharine sentimentality pervades and the "Santa Medley" had me longing for it to be over. When news of 'A Point Of Grace Christmas''s release first came out I questioned why anyone would want to compile and market these old tracks. But now I understand. To tie in with their name, Cracker Barrel are marketing sheer corn.
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