Various Artists

A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 2

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Although not even half of this CD is outstanding, it was recorded for a worthwhile cause (the Special Olympics), and contains some great songs, most notably Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' "Christmas All Over Again" -- this is jingle-jangle pop at its best. Boyz II Men wrap their a cappella voices around "The Birth of Christ," and the two Wall of Sound standouts, Darlene Love and Ronnie Spector bring their powerful voices together for the first time on "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." Bonnie Raitt duets with Charles Brown on his sexy "Merry Christmas Baby," while Aretha Franklin shows why she's called the "Queen of Soul" on "O Christmas Tree."

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