The Isley Brothers' I'll Be Home for Christmas, like Patti LaBelle's Miss Patti's Christmas, was released on Def Soul Classics and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The two albums are both ten songs in length, feature many of the same musicians, and are based mostly on interpretations -- so they go hand-in-hand, whether the intention was there or not. Sleigh bells excepted, "I'm in Love" could be mistaken for an Isley Brothers song on a normal studio album, and it sounds like it wants to break into "Harvest for the World." The other original, "What Can I Buy You," won't be threatening to replace regularly played Christmas classics anytime soon, but it doesn't seem to out of place next to the likes of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland." There's a good balance between secular and spiritual material, so the disc should appeal to just about any Isley Brothers fan who doesn't want to hear the same tired holiday music year in, year out.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
feat: Doc Powell