Moonlight, Mistletoe, And You

Keb' Mo'

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Moonlight, Mistletoe, And You Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

The inherent friendliness of Moonlight, Mistletoe and You buoys the first holiday album from veteran blues singer Keb' Mo' through its periodic shifts in tone and style. Keb' Mo' has long been known for dabbling in a variety of different American roots music, so the intermingling of blues, jazz, and Tin Pan Alley pop comes as no surprise. His easy touch ties together these shifts in sound, but his warmth can sometimes be suppressed by the crisp, clean production that veers just a little bit too close to antiseptic on occasion. Despite the digital gloss of "Merry Merry Christmas" and the bouncy "Better Everyday," Moonlight, Mistletoe and You still winds up as a cozy listen, all due to Keb' Mo''s emphasis on sweetness and good humor. The entire album is a celebration -- when he's lamenting the holiday on "Christmas Is Annoying," his tongue is firmly in cheek -- and that's what makes it an appealing soundtrack for the season.

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