An interesting album to come from the Hawaiian music scene, Caz Christmas presents a Christmas album that would likely be impossible with any artists other than the Brothers Cazimero. The brothers have just the right mix of tradition and forward thinking to make an album stick that uses traditional snow-themed Christmas songs mixed with modern Hawaiian easy listening, as it were. Beyond the basic songs, there are a handful of newer Christmas classics (Johnny Mandel's "Christmas Love Song," Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here") and a few original compositions from the brothers. While the concept of the album is an interesting one, the execution is somewhat more hit and miss. The instrumental performances by the duo are excellent throughout, fusing some Hawaiian guitar aesthetics with old rounds and choruses (to great effect in "Carol of the Bells," for example) while overdoing the vocals and stretching past their comfort zones in phrasing abilities (also in "Carol of the Bells," for example). This is really the case throughout the album: vocal runs are stunted and unnaturally phrased, while guitars work their magic perfectly. There aren't too many Hawaiian Christmas albums to be heard (except maybe Bing Crosby's old "Mele Kalikimaka"), so by virtue of rarity alone the album may be worth a listen. Beyond that, the preferences of the listener will determine whether this one's a hit or not on a case-by-base basis. ~ Adam Greenberg
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