Given that Jessica Simpson's father is a former youth minister, it's no surprise that she'd inevitably pay homage to her favorite holiday via REJOYCE: THE CHRISTMAS ALBUM. Named in honor of her grandmother, this Yuletide outing is quite the Simpson family affair, with husband Nick Lachey popping up on a slinky duet of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and little sister Ashlee playing it straight on a lush rendition of "The Little Drummer Boy."
Despite the largely chaste atmosphere, Simpson looks to holiday precedents set by Mariah Carey, Madonna, and Eartha Kitt in vamping up her phrasing on "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" and the breathy original "It's Christmas Time Again." On the more traditionally religious fare, Simpson avoids a conservative approach. Instead, she looks to lively Baptist praise for inspiration on "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," with its swinging arrangements and brassy gospel accompaniment, while "O Holy Night" benefits from light organ and country-tinged piano accompaniment.