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The Best of Vanessa Williams, Vol. 2: The Christmas Collection

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Album Review

This edition in Universal's discount-priced compilation series 20th Century Masters/The Christmas Collection is actually a re-titled reissue of the 1996 collection Star Bright. With the help of some talented friends, charming pop vocalist Vanessa Williams blends in the beauty of jazz, gospel, and soul music to create a portrait of Christmas songs. The record is genuinely filled with a glistening appeal, and the songs it contains encompass a rich tapestry of the best and brightest seasonal music. The setting changes via each song, some tunes filled with Williams' rich voice backed by an assertive, charismatic gospel choir. The collection is filled with such traditionals as "Do You Hear What I Hear" and "What Child Is This?" A brilliant rendition of Rob Mathes' "Star Bright" is featured, and "Angels We Have Heard on High" draws the listener to the feeling of a wintry landscape of hope and joy during this festive season. Perhaps the most romantic tune featured in this collection is Williams' duet with Bobby Caldwell, a flavorful jazz singer in his own right. These arrangements make good soup for the casual holiday music listener and should be favorites for a long time to come in the holiday section at one's local retail music store. Other uplifting, praiseworthy tunes such as "Go Tell It on the Mountain" and "Gracious Good Shepherd" deserve a listen. The final track, "I'll Be Home for Christmas," is the most reflective piece and should spark one to ponder on holidays and years past, and reminisce on precious times with family or without. ~ Shawn M. Haney, Rovi


Born: 18 March 1963 in Tarrytown, NY

Genre: Pop

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

When Vanessa Williams began her singing career, she was known chiefly as the Miss America pageant winner who'd been forced to renounce her title for posing in Penthouse magazine. Williams not only put the scandal behind her, she all but obliterated it, turning out a series of slick, sophisticated hits that made her one of the most popular adult contemporary R&B singers of her time. In addition to her broad crossover appeal, she established a parallel acting career in both film and television, and...
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The Best of Vanessa Williams, Vol. 2: The Christmas Collection, Vanessa Williams
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