Various Artists

The Way in a Manger: Country Christmas

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The Way in a Manger: A Country Christmas is a Christmas album that finds the middle ground between contemporary country and contemporary Christian music. It's a pleasant, highly produced collection of carols with a specific religious theme recorded by a variety of country, pop and CCM artists. Occasionally, there's some grit to the music -- for instance, Emmylou Harris' "Light of the Stable" is a delight that features Neil Young, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt -- but the bulk of The Way in a Manger consists of smooth versions of holiday ballads. In other words, it favors the CCM side, not the country side, and fans of that sound will find the collection very enjoyable.

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