Trace Adkins

The King's Gift – 2013 (Caliburn)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Trace Adkins

Trace Adkins, with that wonderfully deep voice of his, is always a pleasure. He's like an actor (well he has acted actually) that never gives a bad performance, even in a poor movie. When it comes to evaluating Adkins' albums, it's all about the music he surrounds himself with and the songs he's given to sing. And with "The King's Gift," Adkins is placed in a nearly can't miss situation; he's singing mostly familiar Christmas carols, with a mainly Celtic musical backing.

Adkins doesn't overdo it with celebrity guests, but instead includes a few appropriate musical partners. It's simply delightful to hear the singer match his vocal girth with Scottish singer Alyth McCormack's lovely female lilt, all atop The Chieftains masterful Irish instrumentation during I Saw Three Ships. Adkins is also joined by Sonya Isaacs for a lively, yet slightly moody version of We Three Kings

There are no song obscurities contained, nor there are any nods to an overly secular Christmas celebration. Instead, Adkins puts his famous pipes to equally famous Christmas hymns, and it's nearly a perfect match. When he hits those low notes on Carol of the Drum he even makes that old Christmas warhorse listenable. No, this is not a Christmas miracle. It does, though, exemplify how The King's Gift is one gift you won't be tempted to return on Dec. 26.