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Holiday comfort

In the Swing of Christmas
In the Swing of Christmas
By Barry Manilow

Hallmark: 2007

This review first appeared in Turbula in Winter 2007.

Available only from Hallmark retail outlets (although second-hand copies are already showing up on the Internet), Barry Manilow's third Christmas CD is haunted by the ghosts of Andy Williams TV specials and Perry Como sweater past. It's a charmingly old-fashioned holiday album, full of smoothly crooned carols plus an unexpected chestnut in "Violets for Your Furs." Given the relatively small pool of recognizable holidays songs from which to draw, there's surprisingly precious little if any overlap with his two previous holiday outings. His take on Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here" (from the Peanuts holiday TV special) is especially lovely in its quiet restraint.