Bing Crosby

Christmas with Bing [Sony]

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Christmas albums and compilations live in their own little season, with a marketing window of perhaps only a couple of months, but if done right, they're perennials, and since holiday and Christmas songs are, in essence, instant nostalgia, the best of them stand outside of time, reappearing each holiday season, tireless and timeless and beloved. The holidays are a time of hustle and bustle, a rushing here and there in a world of bright lights and Christmas trees, a time of reuniting with friends and family, a season of professed hope and joy, and it can get as busy and as stressful as a big city roundabout. That's where the holiday collections come in. They provide a soundtrack of hope, joy, jingling bells and angels on high for the busy holiday season in all manner of styles. This 14-song set features pop crooner Bing Crosby, whose iconic version of "White Christmas" just might be the most famous of holiday pop songs, performing warm and elegant versions of classic Christmas songs and carols -- although curiously, "White Christmas" is not included here.

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