Rick Springfield

Christmas with You

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It seems that any veteran recording artist eventually winds up recording their own holiday album, so it makes perfect sense that Rick Springfield finally got around to releasing his own in 2007 with Christmas with You. Apart from the original title song, Springfield relies on standards here, with traditional carols far outweighing relatively recent secular holiday tunes; in fact, only "I'll Be Home for Christmas" can qualify in the latter category. Springfield not only sticks to the classics, he gives many of these spare, baroque acoustic treatments that emphasize their folk origin. These stark arrangements combined with the clean production can give Christmas with You almost a new age feel, but Springfield's raspy voice prevents this from getting spacy, and he does cut loose on a surf music version of "Deck the Halls" (thereby earning the subtitle "With Boughs of Longboards") and gives "I'll Be Home for Christmas" a bit of a goofy doo wop feel. The album could use just a little bit more of this dose of fun, but in its measured, inventive way, Christmas with You is far from the standard holiday album, and it's hard not to admire that Springfield opted for something different on his Christmas record than the same warm, toasty arrangements of the same songs that show up on most seasonal albums by veteran artists.

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