Lynyrd Skynyrd

Christmas Time Again

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A Southern rock Christmas album? Hey, it makes as much sense as Run-DMC's "Christmas in Hollis," and the good news is that the Lynyrd Skynyrd boys--along with special guests the Charlie Daniels Band and .38 Special--truly get into the spirit with a nice mix of seasonal standards (rock and otherwise) and originals. Among the latter, the Daniels Band provides a frankly terrifying "Devil Went Down to Georgia"-derived take on "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," while Skynyrd crunch through Chuck Berry's "Run, Rudolph Run" with Stones-like aplomb.

On the originals front, .38 Special score big with "Mama's Song," a Southern rock power pop hybrid in their best '80s style, although it must be said that these self-proclaimed wild-eyed Southern boys have a sentimental streak a mile wide (and when their song is followed by Skynyrd's near-obscene "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'," it's a tad disconcertin'...). In any case, the album concludes, nicely, with a little harmonizing by the entire Skynyrd family (kids, relatives, road crew, dogs, etc). Fun stuff.

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