A collection from this diamond is worth its weight in gold as Neil Diamond unleashes his trademark sound on 14 classic holiday songs. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel/We Three Kings; Silent Night; The Little Drummer Boy; Santa Claus Is Coming to Town; The Christmas Song; Happy Xmas (War Is Over); White Christmas; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Jingle Bell Rock; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; Silver Bells; You Make It Feel Like; Christmas and O Holy Night .
Neil Diamond has always fancied himself a man of many styles, which probably helps explain why he tries to flaunt each and every one of them on this diverse, sometimes dizzying Christmas disc. He plays it relatively straight on "Silent Night" and "The Christmas Song," but really lets loose on a version of "White Christmas" that recalls the doo-wop of his teen years in the 1950s. Diamond even expands his palette to include a choir-accompanied take on John Lennon's pacifist classic "Happy Christmas (War is Over)." It's the kind of intermingling that makes his fans go wild, but casual admirers should watch out for those stylistic U-turns. --David Sprague