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Various Artists

Christmas With Nashville – 2014 (Big Machine)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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Back when the show Nashville first hit the airwaves, tastemakers like Buddy Miller and T Bone Burnett were heavily involved in the show's music. When you look at the credits to this new Christmas music offering, however, neither one of those names are listed. And it shows.

Like a lot of the winter weather during December, this music mostly leaves the listener cold. These renditions of holiday songs mainly sound by-the-book. Perhaps worst of all, Jonathan Jackson slavishly imitates Bono's unique take on "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)." You'd think he could have at least given it a country spin. But since most 'country' music these days doesn't really sound country at all, most listeners may not even recognize the U2 rip-off. Connie Britton sings "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" like a Vegas lounge singer, rather than infuse it with the natural fun of the original.

This album smacks of seasonal commercialism from start to finish. Nothing is new. Nothing is original. Nothing is the least bit memorable. Those that are still watching the nighttime soap opera may get a kick out of their favorite actresses and actors singing holiday favorites, but the rest of us will likely let out a big yawn and move on.