Take a dose of the listener's favorite programming that's all over airwaves of all kinds during the holidays: The Christmas carols on this compilation were chosen by votes sent in to the British radio network Classic FM. Add in Bryn Terfel and a couple of other big soloists. Then, and this is a crucial step, put together a set of really varied arrangements. They might not stand out on their own, but they are sequenced effectively so that you always seem to be hearing something new, whether it's the choir a cappella, big brass-and-organ sounds, jolly orchestral settings, and more. This being Classic FM, these don't stray too far from the familiar: John Rutter is OK for a 2010s composer, but atonal sounds are not welcome. Put it all together, and you have an album that became a hit during the Christmas season of 2017. You don't even really need a top-notch choir: other groups have done smoother performances of Ding Dong! Merrily on High than the nonprofessional City of London Choir, but the enthusiasm is there, and the Royal Philharmonic provides all the sheen necessary. The end result? As promised, "your soundtrack to a truly special Christmas."
AllMusic Review by James Manheim