Diana Ross

Very Special Season

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Diana Ross' 1994 Christmas album, A Very Special Season, easily ranks among the diva's best of the '90s. Instead of opting for hip arrangements aimed at pleasing a younger, jaded audience, all the songs on this set are classically arranged with lush orchestrations, resulting in a truly timeless holiday album, not unlike what one would have expected from the crooners and sirens of yesteryear. The songs are all lovingly produced, and Ross effectively wraps her silken pipes around each tune with utmost sincerity. The album consists mostly of Christmas standards, including "White Christmas," "The Christmas Song," "O Holy Night," "Ave Maria," and "Silent Night," as well as covers of Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Chirstmastime" and John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)." Also included are inspirational songs that are traditionally not thought of as holiday tunes but fit perfectly, such as the Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition "What the World Needs Now" and a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed," as well as "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" and "Amazing Grace." For fans of timeless, old-fashioned Christmas music, as well as fans of Diana Ross, this lovely holiday album, available only as a European import, is an absolute must, and a reminder of just how beautiful, when done well, holiday music can be.

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