The Christmas Spirit

The Christmas Spirit

Johnny Cash was always devout, and his first Christmas album emphasizes the holiday's religious roots. His voice is rich and warm throughout, and he approaches "Silent Night" like a lullaby, softly crooning as if he's there in the manger. The organ accompaniment on "The Gifts They Gave" recalls the sound of Sunday mass, and backup singers lend angelic inspiration. Cash brings such gravitas to June Carter-penned "Christmas as I Knew It" that its spoken-word recollections of poverty and gratitude begin to feel holy.

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