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Julianne Hough

NBC Sounds of the Season The Julianne Hough Holiday Collection – 2008 (Mercury)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Julianne Hough

At only eight songs long, this Julianne Hough CD might as well be subtitled "Julianne Hough's Abbreviated Christmas." Saying it has eight tracks is being overly generous because the opener, Sound of Christmas is a 1:09 instrumental and Christmas Memories is merely Hough talking about childhood Christmases over music.

Of the six legitimate songs, It Wasn't His Child/Mary Did You Know stands out most for being a duel-song duet with Phil Vassar. Its spiritual focus also sticks out because the majority of this project is distinctly secular in nature. Additionally, Hough sings the lightly rocking Jingle Bell Rock and Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, the bilingual Feliz Navidad and the come-hither-sexy Santa Baby before closing with the good wishes of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

Just as these songs are overwhelmingly light, Hough is a similarly a fluffy, insubstantial vocalist. Sure, she sings on key and all, but she never makes you look up from your eggnog and notice what she's singing. She could just as easily be an above average karaoke performer for all we know. This holiday CD is like a gift you open on Christmas morning and never look at again. Okay. What's left under the tree?