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Rascal Flatts

The Greatest Gift of All – 2016 (Big Machine)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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It's the big things - and sometimes the little things - that make Rascal Flatts' Christmas album "The Greatest Gift of All" stand out. On the macro level, the country vocal trio put a little funk - well, as much funk as three Nashville guys can muster - into "Go Tell It on The Mountain." And then, the cool little bass line introducing "Let It Snow" helps differentiate this act's version from possibly millions of other versions.

Much of "The Greatest Gift of All" will be familiar to most. Most of these inclusions lean toward the sacred side of the Christmas tree, although "Deck the Halls" and "Let It Snow" help to keep the seasonal offering light. One of the less familiar songs, "Strange Way to Save The World," considers the unique way God used an unlikely couple and their newborn baby to change the world. The group's choice to cover Stevie Wonder's "Someday at Christmas" is a reminder that we just don't hear this one nearly enough at Christmas time. It's not unusual for music stars to include family on their holiday albums. However, Rascal Flatts took the unusual step of having Brittany, Gary LeVox's 16-year-old daughter, sing lead on "Silent Night."

With "The Greatest Gift of All," Rascal Flatts play to their strengths - consistently excellent vocals - and match this fine singing with a fine batch of songs. They haven't revolutionized the holiday album, but they haven't created a retread, either. In other words, there is no re-gifting going on here. Instead, it's a gift one ought to joyfully receive.