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Classic Christmas

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Album Review

For his third holiday album — he releases one every decade, more or less like clockwork — George Strait concentrates on the basics, something that's evident from the very title of Classic Christmas. There's not a new tune or obscurity among the album's ten songs, as Strait relies heavily on carols like "Silent Night," "Joy to the World," and "O Come, All Ye Faithful," adding a couple relatively newer standards like "Jingle Bells" and "Up on the Housetop" for balance. This makes Classic Christmas quite a bit different from 1999's Merry Christmas Wherever You Are, which concentrated on brand-new tunes and secular favorites like "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!," "The Christmas Song," and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" — songs that he pulled off nicely, but the simplicity of these standards is well suited for Strait's warm, easygoing touch. Indeed, Classic Christmas is quite warm and easygoing, a relaxed collection of gentle acoustic numbers and subdued Western swing ("Jingle Bells" and "Upon on the Housetop" benefit quite a bit from the latter) that feels as true to Strait's sound as it does to the spirit of the season.


Born: 18 May 1952 in Poteet, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Out of all the country singers to emerge in the 1980s, George Strait stayed the closest to traditional country. Drawing from both the honky tonk and Western swing traditions, Strait didn't refashion the genres; instead, he revitalized them. In the process, he became one of the most popular and influential singers of the era, sparking a wave of neo-traditionalist singers from Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakam to Clint Black, Garth Brooks, and Alan Jackson. Strait was born and raised in Texas, the son...
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Classic Christmas, George Strait
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