20th Century Masters - The Christmas Collection: The Best of Reba McEntire

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
A holiday entry in MCA's 20th Century Masters series, this Christmas Collection spotlights a dozen cuts from Reba McEntire's Yuletide catalog, balancing new songs from Nashville pros with seasonal favorites. Among the former, "The Season of Giving" stands out, giving McEntire a chance to stretch her vocal cords to their keening upper range alongside a loping traditional country arrangement defined by sweet fiddle lines, bright acoustic guitar fills, and thumping bass and bass drum nexus. McEntire offers a sincere reading of " 'Til the Season Comes 'Round Again," a surging, countrified benediction wishing Godspeed and good tidings for the year ahead. For a change of ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
A holiday entry in MCA's 20th Century Masters series, this Christmas Collection spotlights a dozen cuts from Reba McEntire's Yuletide catalog, balancing new songs from Nashville pros with seasonal favorites. Among the former, "The Season of Giving" stands out, giving McEntire a chance to stretch her vocal cords to their keening upper range alongside a loping traditional country arrangement defined by sweet fiddle lines, bright acoustic guitar fills, and thumping bass and bass drum nexus. McEntire offers a sincere reading of " 'Til the Season Comes 'Round Again," a surging, countrified benediction wishing Godspeed and good tidings for the year ahead. For a change of pace on an old favorite, check out her version of Mel Tormé's "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)," rendered in a Charles Brown–influenced blues ballad style that finds McEntire's sly phrasing treading that thin line between down-and-dirty blues and gospel fervor. "Up on the Housetop" charges ahead at breakneck speed, a rock 'n' roll holiday hoedown complete with a searing electric guitar solo that's mirrored by a frenetic fiddle run hard on its tail. Conversely, hewing to tradition, McEntire presents a stately reading of "O Holy Night" that's most effective when her expressive vocal is framed only by a delicately finger-picked acoustic guitar before a band and an angelic female chorus chime in. Here's a good overview of timeless recordings, thanks to the artist's emotional investment in the seasonal sensibility.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The twelve tracks on this discount-priced compilation are from the two previous Christmas albums released by Reba who gave up using her last name on her records in 1998, 1987's multi-million-selling Merry Christmas to You and 1999's Secret of Giving -- A Christmas Celebration. Each of those albums contained ten tracks, so eight selections have been eliminated. For the most part, the omitted songs are ones that were newly written, and they are not much missed. The exception is the standard "Away in a Manger," which should have been retained. But the compilation does include the tracks "I Saw Mama Kissing Santa Claus," "The Secret of Giving," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and "The Christmas Song Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire," all of which made the country singles charts. Reba's versions of "Silent Night" and "O Holy Night" are appropriately reverent the former sporting a spoken introduction; "Up on the Housetop" is given a terrific rockabilly arrangement penned by the singer; and while there may be nothing new that can be done with "White Christmas," she does fine by it. Of the non-standards that were kept, "This Is My Prayer for You," co-written by Gary Scruggs, is the most memorable.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/23/2003
  • Label: Mca Nashville
  • UPC: 602498603369
  • Catalog Number: 000064802
  • Sales rank: 18,650

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Reba McEntire Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Adolphe Adam Composer
Reba McEntire Arranger, Producer
Irving Berlin Composer
Mel Tormé Composer
Buck Ram Composer
Rick Bowles Composer
Franz Gruber Composer
Jimmy Bowen Producer
Kim Gannon Composer
Randy Goodrum Composer
Walter Kent Composer
David Malloy Producer
Gary Scruggs Composer
Robert Wells Composer
Helen Darling Composer
John Barlow Jarvis Composer
Vartan Art Direction
Tony Arata Composer
Erick Labson Mastering
Peggy Newman Composer
Joseph Mohr Composer
Sunny Russ Composer
Tommy Connor Composer
John Sullivan Dwight Composer
Karen Naff Photo Coordination
Traditional Composer
Ryan Null Photo Coordination
Heather Bohn Photo Coordination
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