Judy Collins

Christmas with Judy Collins

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Building on her well-represented holiday catalog, Christmas with Judy Collins is essentially a reissue of the folk artist's 2000 release All on a Wintry Night, padded with two additional songs. All 14 tracks from Wintry Night are featured here in their original sequence with the addition of a new single, the western-tinged "Angels in the Snow" leading off the album, and a stirring, largely a cappella version of "Amazing Grace" closing it out. Fans of Collins' rich, warm voice will enjoy some of the more stripped-down arrangements, which feature her singing to a simple piano accompaniment on lesser-known carols like "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Cherry Tree Carol." On the other hand, the dated synthesizer sounds on tracks like "Come Rejoice" and "Good King Wenceslas" sound rather homogenous and the spoken intro over the faux-strings of "Away in a Manger" is far too heavy-handed to take seriously. Fortunately, the bulk of the album's 16 tracks favor the more minimalist arrangements keeping Collins' lovely voice at the forefront without much distraction.

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