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4.5 out of 5 stars42
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on November 27, 2000
This album is a wonderful mix of holiday standards and lesser known Christmas music. Neil's varied interpretations range from near stock arrangements of O Little Town of Bethlehem and The First Noel to a whimsical version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that allows his rather mischeivous musical sense of humor to shine through.
There is a powerful, dual-language (English and Latin) presentation of O Come All Ye Faithful and a dramatic rendition of the Hallelujiah Chorus, including a full orchestra and vocal chorale.
The highlight of the album is a heartrendingly beautiful arrangement of the hard-to-find John Rutter classic Candlelight Carol. This single track is worth more than the cost of the entire album.
Whatever you do, DON'T buy this to stick in someone's Christmas Stocking! The moment it arrives, open the package, put the disc in your CD deck, and let Neil Diamond's musical magic brighten your Holiday Season!
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on December 8, 1999
This is probably one of my favorite holiday albums. Any fan of Neil Diamond's should buy this disc. My favorite tracks are Mary's Boy Child, I'll be Home For Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and Candlelight Carol which is worth the price of this cd alone.
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on January 19, 2000
Neil's 1st Xmas album is beautiful, but he sounds uncomfortable (jewish boy sings XMAS!) But this album he knows we will love his music, and he is so relaxed and really enjoying the music he is singing..some are so much fun like Rudolph! I love the whole album/so do all my clients that hear it at my work! THANKS NEIL/ANOTHER WINNER!
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on March 2, 2005
Neil Diamond's second Christmas album is a rare treat. It's debatable as to whether it's better than volume 1. Some may say it is; I personally say #1 is the superior. But most are agreed that they're both enjoyable and memorable Christmas albums. My favorites are "Joy to the World" (it begins with sharp piano notes and is eventually joined by a young gospel choir); "Mary's Boy Child" (a little-known and little-heard Christmas hymn and Neil does a wonderful job with it); "Away in a Manger" (nothing unique here, it's just that this classic song, for whatever reason, is missing on most Christmas albums); and the "Hallelujah Chorus" (an admirable effort that pays off very well).

Most of the others are sung in the good old fashioned traditional style--the way they were meant to be sung, if I may be so bold. The only song I don't really care for that much is "Deck the Halls/We Wish You a Merry Christmas". It seems to have a little of that musical style somewhat similar to his rendition of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" on volume 1. Except this one does not have as much of the "barbershop quartet" style to it. Whatever it is, it's an approach that Neil Diamond does not have the right voice for. But even that one is tolerable.

Overall, this is an excellent Christmas album which will not disappoint the average Christmas music enthusiast.
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VINE VOICEon January 7, 2002
Diamond's second Christmas collection is an improvement on his first. By sticking with tunes that don't have signature renditions, Diamond has an easier time making the songs his own. Having fun with a variety of traditionals like, "Deck The Halls" and "The First Noel," and by putting a new spin on "Rudolph" and "Sleigh Ride;" Diamond does a decent job. Not exactly a vital part of my Christmas collection, but not a bad contribution.
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on August 21, 2001
i said in the past that i would never buy another christmas album(how many versions of deck the hall's do you need?)BUTwhen i heard this at a friend's house, i just needed a copyWHY!? because it has a fantastic version of the"Hallelujah chorus" that sets this album a little above the others makeing it a worthwhile buy & NEIL IS JUST THE BEST!so you cannot go wrong
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Following the success of Neil's first Christmas album, his fans wanted more. Neil eventually gave them what they wanted by recording this second collection of Christmas songs. I guess he didn't need much encouragement because he is clearly in top form here. Neil's first Christmas album featured plenty of obvious classics and the basic formula is repeated here. Of course, there are so many classic Christmas songs that Neil had no problem in identifying enough of them that he wanted to record but didn't include on the first album.

Joy to the world, Mary's boy child (here titled Mary's little boy child), Winter wonderland, Have yourself a merry little Christmas, I'll be home for Christmas, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, Sleigh ride, Away in a manger, O come all ye faithful, O little town of Bethlehem and The first Noel all sound very familiar but Neil sounds great on all of them, with his arrangers sometimes adding a distinctive touch here and there. Only a little less familiar, but sounding great here, are Angels we have heard on high and the closing Hallelujah chorus. Likewise, the medley of Deck the halls / We wish you a merry Christmas is most welcome.

The rarest song here, at least in mainstream music, is Candlelight carol (a John Rutter song). I haven't heard the original yet, but I have the version by Aled Jones, which is brilliant. I'm glad that Neil recorded this song as it suits him ideally.

This is a great companion to Neil's first Christmas album although it's not essential to have both unless you're a committed fan of Neil's music. With plenty of familiar classics, it can be played at any time during the Christmas period.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 28, 2010
At under $10, you can't afford not to buy this Christmas Album!

If you are looking for a stocking stuffer - that's great, but pick up a copy for yourself!

Neil Diamond's rich and true vocals will have you playing this CD many times over the holiday season. (The 'Hallelujah' track is my album fave).

I also recommend you buy Neil Diamond's Christmas Album and his latest, Holiday CD A Cherry Cherry Christmas.

I give all three Neil Diamond Christmas albums a perfect 5 STAR rating!
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on January 20, 2012
This is Neil's 1994 follow up to his 1992 Christmas album. Neil's voice is in top form on the 15 songs he performs on this CD. Some of my favorites are:

Joy To The World
Mary's Boy Child
Winter Wonderland
Candlelight Carol
Away in a Manger
The First Noel
Hark The Herald Angels Sing
Hallelulah Chorus

I had never heard Candlelight Carol before. Neil sings it beautifully. Overall a nice selection of holiday tunes.
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on December 18, 2011
Christmas albums are a way for almost any singer to make some extra money. No matter how badly they are done, or how far Christmas songs are from their usual stuff, they sell. This is one of those.

I am OK with Neil Diamond, but he just can't get it together for this Christmas album. Some of them are so bad it sounds like he is singing the words phonetically, not knowing or caring what they mean. His solo cover of the Hallelujah Chorus is a particularly glaring example. I'm almost embarrassed for him.
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