Photographers: Pamela Springsteen; Matthew Barnes .
Arranger: Patrick Williams.
The selections on A COUNTRY SUPERSTAR CHRISTMAS III are like a pile of presents under the Christmas tree; you won't know which to open first. Typical of the fare on offer is George Strait taking a humorous look at a culinary aspect of the holidays on "Christmas Cookies," while Chely Wright's version of "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!" nods to the '60s countrypolitan sound.
If not for the gentle two-step beat added to the classic pop orchestration of "I'll Be Home for Christmas," Martina McBride might be taken for a '50s crooner, whereas Randy Travis's take on the old Willie Nelson tune "Pretty Paper" is pure country through and through. With its mixture of Latin-tinged percussion and moody pop, Alecia Elliott's "What Child is This?" ventures farther from the country tradition than any other track on the album. Sammy Kershaw and Toby Keith's contributions add some honky tonk roadhouse flavor to this compilation, before things end on a reverent note via Reba McEntire's unadorned recording of "Silent Night."