Top positive review
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3.5 Stars for Music, 5/5 for Value: Very Pleasant Instrumentals, Forgettable Vocal Songs
on December 11, 2012
It seems like almost every 5/5 reviewer here wants to tell everyone how fantastic this Christmas album is, if only one loves Celtic music. Well, I like Celtic music quite a bit and it really isn't a Wow! That's Fantastic! collection of music as one would expect from seeing all of the 5/5 ratings.
The half of the songs on this album that are instrumentals, mostly of well-known traditional carols such as Deck the Halls, Good King Wenceslas, The Holly and The Ivy, etc... really are excellent and feature that fiddle, flute, and sometimes harp and guitar combinations that one expects from Irish folk music.
As to the vocal numbers, well, I don't think I had ever heard a single one of them and I don't suspect many will hear them outside this collection; they do not have that "Christmas classic" sound to them. The vocal songs mostly seemed to be contemporary attempts at sounding like Irish Christmas music (sung by a female lead singer who sounds more like a Californian trying to sing Irish songs than a born-and-bred resident of Eire) rather than songs that actually bring to mind the Christmas season. There is something about the well-known Christmas songs - be they traditional, classical or popular - that simply sounds like the holiday season, more so than just from inclusion of words like "Christmas," "Noel," "bells," "snow," etc... or from years of Pavlovian-like association with the holiday season. The vocal songs in this collection simply lack that Christmas feel to them and while reasonably played and sung, are rather forgettable. My very traditionalist mother-in-law remarked that the vocal numbers all seem to sound the same after a while and although that may not be exactly true musically and tonally, it is fairly accurate from a character standpoint.
But at a measly two bucks for 20 songs, this is a great value. There are more than enough songs in this collection that are very good to provide an excellent value for anyone who doesn't need to hear Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, or Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer to call it enjoyable Christmas music.