A Cherry Cherry Christmas

by: Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond's first two holiday albums were plainly titled The Christmas Album and The Christmas Album, Vol. 2, which gave a pretty good indication of the by-the-book music they contained, just like how the very name of 2009's A Cherry Cherry Christmas is a tip-off that this collection is a decidedly less serious affair, even if it recycles a good chunk of the same recordings that comprised those earlier albums. A Cherry Cherry Christmas keeps a barbershop quartet arrangement of "Deck the Halls," a doo wop "White Christmas," and a swinging "Jingle Bell Rock," but what's notable are the additions: a ridiculous, self-celebrating "Cherry Cherry Christmas" that's trumped only by a goofy cover of Adam Sandler's "Chanukah Song." These two new cuts make Diamond seem like the garrulous uncle at your family's holiday party, the one who is eager to prove how cool he is, which only makes him seem all the more out of touch. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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