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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2007
If you want Christmas music with a different color, this album really swings. I wish I could figure out how Manilow is able to take traditional songs and manipulate them into magic pieces that demands attention to arrangement structure. I know the titles speak the same traditional Christmas music, but believe me, it's Manilow Magic again that recreates traditional into something new and exciting. I want more!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Wow! High-powered beauty PLUS creative jazz! I love it, I love it, I LOVE IT!!! This is the previously released 2007 Hallmark Christmas CD by Barry, now re-released with 2 additional tracks added.

There are 12 tracks in all now, between a half hour and 45 minutes in total. Yes, I wish it was longer, but it's still great. These are mainly traditional Christmas songs. Yes! I said CHRISTMAS!!! And I'm proud of it! I get tired of all this "HOLIDAY" stuff. Christmas is Christmas. If you don't like the word, don't celebrate it!

OK. I'm off my soapbox now. Anyway, the songs are:

1)Silver Bells (all 5 or 6 tracks done by Barry overlaying each other)
2)Carol of the Bells/Jingle Bells (verrrrry jazzzzzy) (I love those J-I-N-G-L-E B-E-double L-S U-C)
3)Joy to the World/It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
4)Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
5)Violets for Your Furs (slow--very pretty--about winter in Manhattan and a guy buying violets for his girl's furs)
6)O Tannenbaum/Winter Wonderland (a bit jazzy on Winter Wonderland)
7)Christmas Time is Here (the song you hear on the Snoopy cartoon Christmas special)
8)The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
10)Count Your Blessings
Bonus Tracks (added to the 2009 version):
11)Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
12)Christmas is Just Around the Corner

Like I said, these are Christmas standards and you already know what they sound like. He stayed fairly straight on most of them, keeping the original beauty. Of course, you know what Toyland sounds like and I love it. It always makes me think of the special times watching children play at Christmas time. "Count Your Blessings" is one of many pretty songs that Rosemary Clooney sings in the movie "White Christmas."

Rudolph, Barritized version is excellent! It is a combo dixieland clarinet plus big-band and it is REALLY hard to listen to without singing along with B. He is one of the few artists who can take a classic like R the RNR, make it his own, and still keep the integrity of the original song in tact.

CisJAtheCorner was written by B for the 2008 childrens' special cartoon "Cranberry Christmas". A cute little show for the kids and a delightful little song, my inner child loves its freshness, energy and enthusiasm. When I first got the CD, I played this track about 10 times. (Yeah. I know. Get a life!) No kidding--I LOVE it! It is such a light, airy tune. It resonates well with both me and the child within me. It makes me want to jump up and do the "Freddy," even when I'm driving on the interstate (so I have to restrain myself). "Christ-maaas, is just around the cor-ner. . ." I love it.

By the way, for the young whippersnappers reading this, the Freddy was a dance from the mid 1960s where you waved your arms and legs (legs one at a time, preferably).

Yep, Barry's still got it! 37 years of making records and still going! These arrangements are great! I am happy to see that Hallmark chose Barry as their Christmas artist for the original and glad to see the re-release.

Lovely, simply lovely! I bought it the first day it became available and have played it about 50,000 times already! (OK. Maybe that's a SLIGHT exaggeration.)
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2009
This is a rereales of the 2007 one that Hallmark put out. The rereales puts two new songs on it at the end. It just adds to a really great one.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Barry Manilow gives us yet another great album with this release of holiday music! His voice is in excellent form, as always; and he makes it seem all so easy, too. The arrangements are very well done and well thought out; and this is definitely a must-have for his fans and lovers of Christmas music everywhere. The quality of the sound is very good and I really like that artwork.

The album starts off with Barry performing "Silver Bells;" Barry makes this special by having his voice play over itself at very slightly different, layered times to create a stunning backup vocals effect. I love it! The melody is easy on the ear and they all play a little with the tempo and keys so that Barry can put his own stamp on this classic ballad. There's also a fine and jazzy medley of "Carol of the Bells" and "Jingle Bells;" Barry delivers this with all his heart and soul and just one listen proves it! "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," a number first sung by Judy Garland in "Meet Me in Saint Louis," gets the royal treatment from Barry who sings this to perfection--and beyond! "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is beautiful and it's easily a major highlight of this album.

"Violets for Your Furs" has a lovely piano arrangement as Barry sings this with great sensitivity; it's quite a romantic number and I think you'll like it. The medley of "O Tannenbaum" and "Winter Wonderland" charms me with its natural beauty; Barry sings this without ever letting go of a single superfluous note! "Christmas Time is Here," a number written for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" television special back in the 1960s, is very sweet; and I enjoy hearing Barry doing a superb job on "The Christmas Song." "The Christmas Song" is absolutely gorgeous; and there's yet another gem in "Count Your Blessings." "Toyland" is a very traditional number that features Barry squarely front and center which is right where he belongs; and "Count Your Blessings" just couldn't have been performed any better than the way Barry Manilow does it here.

"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" is another sweet tune that sounds so good in Barry's capable hands--and how's about that group backing him up with those extra vocals? They harmonize faultlessly; I'm very impressed. The CD ends very nicely with Barry Manilow performing "Christmas Is Just Around the Corner;" this adorable tune shines bright as Barry Manilow sings it very well.

Barry Manilow has given us so much great and special music throughout the decades; and we are all better off for his sharing his talent with us. I highly recommend this CD--it will quickly become one of your holiday favorites!
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on January 31, 2012
If you like timeless, classic Christmas music, Barry captures it all...from the wonderful a capella rendition of "Silver Bells" to "Christmas Time is Here" that pays wonderful musical tribute to Vince Guaraldi's "Peanuts" Christmas CD, you can't help but smile when you listen to this CD. Put this music on as you decorate your tree or start a fun session of baking with your will definitely be caught up in the Christmas spirit! I would consider this one of the better CD's in my collection, and look forward to hearing it each December! Barry's voice is still intact, and hearing "Winter Wonderland" and "The Christmas Song" has me dreamily anticipating the wonderful days leading up to Christmas Day. Thanks, Barry, for capturing the music I listened to (often!) as a brings back wonderful memories of Perry Como, Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, all with your personal signature style!
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on December 31, 2011
I bought this for a ridiculously low price at a Borders store going out of business. Barry has become one of those singers whose done multiple Christmas albums, a la Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, Kenny Rogers and Harry Connick Jr. This particular CD is done mostly in "swing time." It works better for some songs than for others. Barry does a completely new song, Violets For Your Furs. It's okay but I don't know if it will become a standard. Other songs I like are Toyland, Have Yourself a Merry Little Xmas, Christmas Time is Here (from the Charlie Brown TV special), Count Your Blessings, Rudolph the Reindeer and Christmas is Just Around The Corner, another new song. The songs will keep your toes tapping and fingers snapping.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2010
Some music can be covered in the "swing" style. Christmas music is not one of them. 'nuff said.
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on December 8, 2012
I am a hugh Fan-olow and love all of Barry's music. His previous Christmas CD's I listen to constantly, starting the day after Thanksgiving. This CD is alittle different. It is very heavy on swing and jazz. There's only a few songs I really like. His rendition of "Christmastime" is awesome. I also enjoy the song "Babes in Toyland" which was a popular movie when I was very young, and a song that you rarely hear. "Count Your Blessings" is a song done in a traditional Barry ballad style. If I wasn't a fan I probably would only give this CD a 3 star to be truthful.
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on December 31, 2011
All-new material here, and all follows the big-band style as Barry goes retro. ' Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer' has a swinging beat that will have you jitterbugging like a 40's teenager. He also produced the album, co- wrote the original track 'Christmas is Just Around the Corner' and did all the arrangements-- thus showing he is not just an aging pop singer.
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on July 4, 2015
In The Swing Of Christmas By Barry Manilow is a great CD. I enjoy Christmas music and Barry really delivers on this one. Favorite songs are have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, and O Tannenbaum/Winter Wonderland. Barry's smooth voice just makes me feel better. My ears like what they hear. Fans of barry Manilow will like this the most.
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