Reba McEntire

Christmas Collection

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This two-disc set combines Reba McEntire's two Christmas albums, 1987's Merry Christmas to You and 1999's Secret of Giving: A Christmas Celebration, in one package, reversing the order of release so that the later album is on disc one with the earlier album on the second disc. Both releases mix new holiday material with covers of classic Christmas tunes, and while it is obviously difficult to creatively come up with anything particularly startling on these kinds of seasonal releases, Reba at least manages to keep it all pleasant and interesting. Highlights include "This Is My Prayer for You," the fun, rocking "Up on the Housetop," a stately version of "Away in a Manger," a cover of Grandpa Jones' over-the-top heart-tugger "The Christmas Guest," and a wonderful revitalization of "I'll Be Home for Christmas," which is the real gem here.

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