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George Strait

Classic Christmas – 2008 (MCA)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by George Strait

George Strait, just like his last name suggests, gives it to us straight in the CD notes. "For this album, I selected Christmas songs - the ones I grew up hearing and singing - and added a little country flavor to make them sound more like me." And dang if he ain't right on the money! This is a 10-song Christmas CD - his third - with familiar songs that all sound like Strait tunes. So when he gets to track four, Jingle Bells, the music swings nicely in that winning Strait way. There's plenty of snappy drumming, jazzy country picking and hot fiddling.

And then there's Strait's voice, which is deceptively smooth and agile. Strait sounds like a goofy kid while singing Up on The Housetop, then dead serious on O Come, All Ye Faithful.

We all have our favorite Christmas carols, so when it comes to choosing Christmas music, most of us simply want to hear our favorites done right. And with this, Strait is comfortable and confident with songs many consider sacred American musical texts. Tony Brown expertly produces by not encumbering Strait with any studio glitz. He just gets out of the man's way, and lets Strait do his thing.