Personnel: Michael Spriggs (acoustic guitar); Kelly Back (electric guitar); Scotty Sanders (steel guitar); Aubrey Haynie (mandolin, fiddle); Gordon Mote (piano, organ); David Northup (drums, percussion); Greg Ritchie (drums).
Audio Mixers: Mark Capps; Ben Isaacs.
Recording information: Skaggs Place.
Photographer: Jarrett Gaza.
As the sixth holiday album from the Oak Ridge Boys, Celebrate Christmas doesn't exactly cover new ground -- indeed, they've cut some of these songs before -- but as its own entity, Celebrate Christmas does provide a bit of good cheer. Much of this derives from the harmonies of the quartet -- their enduring signature that still seems cozy all these years later, helping to give the clean production some warmth. The song selection on Celebrate Christmas is fairly standard -- a lot of familiar carols and secular seasonal standards, punctuated by a couple of newer tunes -- but part of the point of the album is that traditions endure through the years: the Oak Ridge Boys can sing the same songs and sound the same yet different, deepening into their age and drawing sustenance for the songs and sounds they've always loved. The biggest knock against Celebrate Christmas is that it's a tad too precise and punchy but, even so, this still manages to provide a good dose of holiday fun. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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