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Raul Malo

Marshmellow World & Other Crazy Favorites – 2007 (New Door/Universal)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Raul Malo

If you only buy one Christmas CD this year, make it Raul Malo's. Anything by Malo is worth the money, simply because of his beautiful voice. But adventurous arrangements are what make this seasonal offering stand out. It's like getting everything on your Christmas list and more.

There's a finger-snapping "White Christmas," blues-y takes on "Santa Claus Is Back in Town" and "Blue Christmas" and a ukulele-backed "Winter Wonderland." Although Malo also sings a reverent "Silent Night," his primary emphasis is on swinging up the holiday. It's all about a Christmas party with an open bar, where more than just the eggnog is spiked. It's also a sexy Christmas recording - if that' not an oxymoron. Malo is pictured as quite the dapper fellow on its cover, but inside CD photos feature a half naked little snow girl who looks like something out of an old Herb Albert album cover.

There are those Christmas songs that you can sing in church as well as around the Christmas tree, but then there are those that just don't feel right in a house of God. And Malo gives us a few of these "Other Holiday Favorites" that will likely leave you with a buzz.