Doris Day

The Doris Day Christmas Album

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Christmas can perhaps be considered the most romantic holiday of the year (celebrants woo it weeks in advance, whereas Valentine's Day is more of a romantic interruption), and listening to The Doris Day Christmas Album, it sure feels that way. Some may find her voice unseasonably sultry but, at their core, many Christmas songs are really love songs (both love of hearth and that other kind). After all, "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" isn't really about snow at all; Day sets listeners straight on that subject with a smoldering version that ranks among the most honest interpretations of the song's real intent. Likewise, she doesn't gloss over the intrinsic sadness of many Yuletide songs; "I'll Be Home for Christmas" paints the picture of home and hearth so vividly that you begin to understand that, as sad as missing Christmas with family might be, the person singing really can conjure up the surroundings by memory in a pinch. Perhaps the album's saddest moment occurs with "Toyland," as Day sings in a dreamy, faraway voice of a magical land that invites a self-assessment of what is lost in becoming "grown up." It's not a depressing record by any means, but it is more of an "adult" Christmas album. Her versions of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "Silver Bells" are very good, aided throughout by excellent arrangements (no cheesy cut-rate band orchestras here; these guys are the real McCoy). If "The Christmas Song" and "White Christmas" aren't showstoppers, they're pleasant all the same. The extended introduction to "Winter Wonderland" is a nice touch, and Day's version of the little-known "Christmas Present" is a timely reminder that a person's presence is more important than their presents. While Doris Day isn't a singer as closely associated with Christmas as Nat "King" Cole, Perry Como, or Bing Crosby, The Doris Day Christmas Album is a good addition to any Yuletide collection. Like an extra log on the fire, putting this on will heat up your holidays nicely.

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