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Aaron Tippin

A December to Remember – 2001 (Lyric Street)

Reviewed by Tom Netherland

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CDs by Aaron Tippin

A dozen new Christmas songs beckon from Aaron Tippin's first holiday album. Including "Jingle Bell Rock," this mustachioed covers five seasonal classics, best of all his bathed-in-blues rendering of the Ernest Tubb/Elvis Presley giant, "Blue Christmas."

Yet Tippin strikes bold where so many choose to play it safe by striking forth with seven originals. Some are quite good. Others, well, are not. He adds to the ever-growing canon of silly Christmas songs with his rocking "It's A Good Thing Santa Ain't Single"

Word to Tippin: You can do better.

And does with an easy, winter stroll-in-the-snow "Christmas Is The Warmest Time of the Year." His wife, Thea, sings backing vocals on the song that could hang around for some time for Tippin.

Still, healthy stabs at good storytelling, as on "He Said That He Was Jesus," finds Tippin as good as he gets. His voice not beaten down with drums, is instead accentuated with a nice piano and lolling steel guitar.

Perhaps oddly enough, Tippin's first Christmas album is as good as anything he's recorded.