5 Songs, 17 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Unwrapped opens with a swingin’ version of Joe Beal’s “Jingle Bell Rock,” replete with big-band horns, a grinding Hammond organ, sleigh bells, rootsy guitar leads, glockenspiel chimes and of course those heavenly harmonies that Rascal Flatts are known and loved for. They also give “White Christmas” a grandiose sound with a huge, lush, sweeping string section and some of the most soulful singing to ever grace this classic carol. Similarly, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is sung with such impassioned soul and flawless harmonic congruence that you may not realize the entire song is acapella until midway through. And when is the last time you’ve heard “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” sound this alluring? With slow, pulsing rhythms and elongated vocal gymnastics, it’s almost downright sexy, but Rascal Flatts' hometown charm and boyish inflections keep the perennial holiday hymn from sounding inappropriate. Though they seldom incorporate any vestiges of their country pop roots here, Unwrapped is a great-sounding EP for anyone who loves stellar singing and Christmas cheer.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Unwrapped opens with a swingin’ version of Joe Beal’s “Jingle Bell Rock,” replete with big-band horns, a grinding Hammond organ, sleigh bells, rootsy guitar leads, glockenspiel chimes and of course those heavenly harmonies that Rascal Flatts are known and loved for. They also give “White Christmas” a grandiose sound with a huge, lush, sweeping string section and some of the most soulful singing to ever grace this classic carol. Similarly, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is sung with such impassioned soul and flawless harmonic congruence that you may not realize the entire song is acapella until midway through. And when is the last time you’ve heard “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” sound this alluring? With slow, pulsing rhythms and elongated vocal gymnastics, it’s almost downright sexy, but Rascal Flatts' hometown charm and boyish inflections keep the perennial holiday hymn from sounding inappropriate. Though they seldom incorporate any vestiges of their country pop roots here, Unwrapped is a great-sounding EP for anyone who loves stellar singing and Christmas cheer.

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