Christmas With Scotty McCreery
American Idol winner Scotty McCreery applies his down-home charm and baritone vocals to this well-chosen holiday collection. The 19 year-old North Carolina native builds upon his recent success with assured performances that get sentimental in the right places and loosen up for some yuletide fun. McCreedy adds some jazz swing to “Winter Wonderland,” gets romantically mellow on “The Christmas Song” and puts on his rocking shoes for “Holly Jolly Christmas.” He especially shines when he releases his inner Elvis on a feisty cover of “Santa Claus is Back in Town.” Warm acoustic settings bring out the reverence in such timeless carols as “The First Noel,” “O Holy Night,” as well as the more contemporary “Mary Did You Know?” Of special interest are a pair of new tunes, “Christmas Comin’ Round Again” (an upbeat country waltz featuring Jonathan Yudkin’s sparkling mandolin work) and “Christmas in Heaven” (a yearning ballad coming to terms with love and loss). McCreery handles these diverse tunes with a mixture of youthful sincerity and mature confidence.