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Rock 'n' roll holiday, with a comfy sweater

Home for Christmas
Home for Christmas
By Sheryl Crow

Hallmark: 2008

This review first appeared in Turbula in December 2008.

Alternating between a velvety Andy Williams/Perry Como holiday groove and her own trademark blues-tinged rock sound, Sheryl Crow's first holiday release manages to pay homage to holiday traditions without being fenced in by them.

What makes this album such a fun listen is the unusual arrangements she brings to the Christmas standards. Mel Torme's "The Christmas Song" gets turned into a soul jazz/ska number, "White Christmas" and "Blue Christmas" both get a horn chorus that gives them the feel of a couple of vintage cuts from a mid-1970s Chicago album, while the R&B classic "Merry Christmas, Baby" is pure Sheryl Crow.

And "I'll Be Home for Christmas"? It's a modern take on Andy Williams, with that gorgeous voice of hers nestling itself in front of a roaring fire with a cup of hot cocoa.