The Ultimate Christmas Album, Vol. 5 New York includes 25 soul, pop, and lite rock songs of the season from the Four Tops ("Christmas Delight"), Hall & Oates ("Jingle Bell Rock"), and the Manhattan Transfer ("A Christmas Love Song"). Mixed in with the more obscure tracks are traditional holiday favorites by Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, and Paul McCartney. While the packaging is drab, the sound quality is decent, making this is an affordable way to pick up these seasonal tunes. ~ Al Campbell
The Ultimate Christmas Album, Vol. 5 collects more pop and rock holiday tunes, this time venturing further into the '70s and '80s with songs like Paul McCartney & Wings' "Wonderful Christmastime," Hall & Oates' "Jingle Bell Rock," and Barry Manilow's "It's Just Another New Year's Eve." The collection still features traditional pop chestnuts, including Dean Martin's "A Marshmallow World," Johnny Mathis' "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)," and Andy Williams' "Sleigh Ride," but this volume's overall feel is more contemporary than classic. Other highlights include Manhattan Transfer's "A Christmas Love Song," the Waitresses' "Christmas Wrapping," the Tokens' "Little Drummer Boy," and the Jackson 5's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus." If The Ultimate Christmas Album, Vol. 5 isn't necessarily the most coherent volume in the series, it's certainly one of the most interesting. ~ Heather Phares
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