Christmas Duets

Elvis Presley

Christmas Duets

Remember in 1991 when Natalie Cole recorded duet vocals to Nat King Cole's 1951 hit "Unforgettable" to sound like she was singing with her late father? RCA Records ran with that idea to birth an entire album of female country stars singing Christmas carols with the late great Elvis Presley (who never actually fancied recording duets in his lifetime). While this may seem blasphemous to ardent apostles of The King, listen to Martina McBride's part on the opening "Blue Christmas." Her stellar performance here sounds like time-travel technology has overridden the innovative studio production techniques that made this recording come off sounding truly authentic. Even Carrie Underwood's pointed vocal timbre gets smoothed over with retro compression effects, so as to not upstage Presley's buttery baritone on a loungy version of "I'll Be Home For Christmas." LeAnn Rimes, who has always inflected with a timeless tone, has the most convincing take here with a spotless rendition of "Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)," coming off as though she shared a microphone with Elvis back when he tracked the song in 1957, and Anne Murray's harmonies with Elvis on "Silver Bells" achieve plausible perfection.

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