Rodney Carrington

Make It Christmas

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Coming from a guy who released an album called Morning Wood and a song called "Rhymes with Truck," and who has appeared naked as a jaybird on an album cover, one might think Make It Christmas is a "put the kids to bed" affair with all the breast jokes and beer drinking that usually come with Rodney Carrington. It's anything but, as having teenaged kids has sent Carrington's moral compass in a completely different direction, one that points to tradition, family values, good will toward men, and comfy sweaters, especially come Christmastime. Make It Christmas is the country comedian/television star turning Johnny Mathis, with his surprisingly good and extremely comfortable voice delivering a mixed bag of Christmas standards; new holiday music (including Carrington's own "The Presents Under the Tree [Better Be for Me]"); and a handful of well-chosen, lesser-known numbers such as David Foster's "Grown Up Christmas List." While few will be knocked out by his vocal stylings, his likability and warmth are what matter most. There is plenty of both, front and center with support from either a lush orchestra or polished studio band led by producer/arranger Steve Dorff. The bittersweet and poignant "Camouflage and Christmas Lights" is that rare holiday song that speaks directly to military families, while the title track asks the age-old question of why peace on earth isn't a year-round concern. Peace is the subtle theme of the album, and as Rodney successfully expresses its need and importance -- with a little "Winter Wonderland" along the way -- Make It Christmas ends up both an above average celebrity Christmas album and an easy recommendation to his legion of fans.

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