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Various Artists

Elvis Presley Christmas Duets – 2008 (RCA Nashville/Legacy)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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The chance to hear musical offspring sing with a deceased parent can be a special event. This was especially true when Natalie Cole memorably sang with her late father, Nat King Cole. Granted, this duet relied upon a modern technological recording gimmick to make it all happen. Yet it did not subtract from the undeniable emotional impact of hearing this famous pair harmonize together at last - which brings us to this problematic "new" Elvis Christmas duets CD.

Although Anne Murray and Olivia Newton-John were both popular while The King was still alive, nobody has been yearning all these years to sample what a holiday would sound like with their pop-country voices matched with his. Instead, this 13-song disc smacks of greedy marketing instead because, for the most part, it is a compilation featuring artists who became famous long after Elvis' original reign. Therefore, we get to listen as Presley out-sings Amy Grant, even from the grave, and notice how Carrie Underwood disappears in the presence of the pioneer's white jumpsuit. The CD also contains three Elvis songs remixed and remastered with additional instrumentation. Elvis' original Christmas CDs will get played again at our house, but these uncalled for duets will be remain at the bottom of the stack.