Captain & Tennille

The Secret of Christmas

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On their first studio recording since 1982's More Than Dancing, Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille make good on a longtime promise to fans with a collection of holiday cuts that's every bit as kitschy, playful, and harmless as the bulk of the music from their mid-'70s heydays. The 14-track Secret of Christmas finds Captain & Tennille in good form, lending their well-honed soft rock style to yuletide classics like "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Here Comes Santa Claus," and "Silent Night," but it's Toni's four self-penned offerings that make this Secret so sticky sweet. "Tahoe Snow," "Christmas in California," "Boogie Baby Christmas," and "The Christmas Star" sound exactly like the titles would suggest. They're alternately goofy, sentimental, and reverent, which is more than can be said for most holiday offerings, and while her voice may lack the presence that made "Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Muskrat Love" so instantly infectious, it's impossible not to smile along with her.

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