Elvis: Christmas with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

by: Elvis Presley

The third recording featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Elvis Presley, Christmas with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is no different, no better or worse, than the two hit records it follows. Like those albums, it's a puffy, pompous march through familiar tunes, all turned purple due to heavy-handed arrangements that favor onslaught, not subtlety. Presley sounds good but that's mere circumstance: he was recorded with musicians he trusted, never expecting he'd be cut off from his crew, mutated into a middlebrow mediocrity. Christmas with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra can be pleasant enough because it's always a pleasure to hear Presley sing and the supporting Philharmonic plays with skill but, like its companions, it's music for people who love the idea of Elvis Presley and not his music. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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