Comfort & Joy

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The most visible practitioners of neo-doo wop a cappella vocals top themselves with this stunning holiday package. Their delivery is crisp; their arrangements are fresh; their original material is polished and spirited; the feeling projected alternates between sentimental, playful, and buoyant...frankly, there's nothing negative to say about Comfort & Joy. Highlights include a beautiful bass vocal showcase on "I'll Be Home for Christmas," an extraordinary trombone section evocation on "Home for the Holidays," the breathtaking vocal rhythm groove on "Snowstar," and the most obvious nod toward doo wop tradition, complete with a tongue-in-cheek confessional recitation on "Please Come Home for Christmas." But each track, in its own way, sparkles. Unlike almost every holiday release in recent years, this one should last for many seasons to come.

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