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Blake Shelton

Cheers, It's Christmas – 2012 (Warner)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Blake Shelton

For his first Christmas album, Blake Shelton goes for the traditional approach. For a guy that can be a real loose cannon when appearing on The Voice, Blake sure comes off conservative throughout this 14-song collection. Most of these tracks feature full orchestrations, and it sure doesn't sound like any down home holiday celebration.

Shelton is at his best, and country-ist, when joined by fellow Okie Reba during the western swinging Oklahoma Christmas. In fact, that classy red head even out sings him on it. Of course, it's always fun to hear Shelton duet with his wife and First Lady of country music, Miranda Lambert, which happens on a relatively loose Jingle Bell Rock. However, it never sounds like the Shelton pictured on the CD booklet dressed in a suit coat and vest ever loosens that silk blue tie. Where is the Shelton of Hillbilly Bone, anyhow?

A title like "Cheers, It's Christmas" suggests a holiday celebration with a few adult beverages. Instead, Shelton is far too well behaved, as though sipping plain milk. He sings just fine throughout. However, Shelton has always been a better entertainer than vocalist, and this album sadly finds him playing the obedient child, seemingly afraid of being scolded.