A truly memorable holiday treat, with Sleigh Ride; Jingle Bells; Ave Maria, and 11 more.
Hipper now than they ever were in their day, Karen and Richard Carpenter achieved a rare feat: They saw one of their songs become a holiday classic. "Merry Christmas, Darling" sold like mad in the late 1970s and cemented the identity of the song with the band. In the wake of Karen's death, the lyrics became even more poignant, but isn't a good tug on the heartstrings what a lot of holiday songs are all about? The Carpenters' tender cover of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is equally touching, their lush vocals layered like warm blankets on a cold December night. Though Christmas Portrait
is harshly abbreviated, this version--the Special Edition
--features almost 40 songs, including goose-bump giving versions of "Ave Maria" and "O Holy Night" and is definitely the better disc of the two. --Steve Gdula