Audio Mixer: Sean Neff.
Liner Note Author: Jay Isaiah.
If ever there was an idea candidate for a Christmas album, it'd be Rascal Flatts, the sweet and slyly savvy country-pop group who have stayed at the top of the country charts since their debut in 2000. Soft and gentle yet possessing an ear for shifting trends -- witness the R&B undertones on their 2014 album Rewind -- Rascal Flatts offer comfort food with a dash of modern flair. Time can sometimes make that flair dated, but on The Greatest Gift of All, it means that some seasonal warhorses now sound fresh: "Joy to the World" gets a bit of splashy show biz gospel, "Go Tell It on the Mountain" receives a funky underpinning, and "Let It Snow!" and "Deck the Hall" simmer to a slow-burning R&B groove. Elsewhere, things are a little more expected: they dig out "A Strange Way to Save the World," a CCM Christmas tune by 4Him, "Silent Night" is treated with gravity and enhanced by a children's choir, while "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" is given a still, solemn reading. Such a blend of the secular and the sacred, the new and the old, is a signature for Rascal Flatts, and it works well here, on a holiday album that delivers precisely what fans would expect. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine