The Brothers Four

Merry Christmas

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Released in 1966, toward the end of their run at the charts, Merry Christmas is a warm, sweet holiday collection from the Brothers Four. Naturally, this record places emphasis on the group's harmonies and the setting isn't necessarily as folk as some of their other records. This being the holidays, the surroundings are lush, which means this also veers toward pop, leaving the folk elements to almost seem worldbeat, as when the castanets are ramped up on the Latin-influenced "The Night Is Christmas Eve." Generally, Merry Christmas plays things straight and smooth, giving the quartet plenty of space to smile and harmonize. This means Merry Christmas feels somewhat old-fashioned and tied to its time, but that's also its appeal: it's a cheerful seasonal set that was square in the '60s but is endearingly not hip.

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