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The Oak Ridge Boys

Christmas Cookies – 2005 (Word)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

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CDs by The Oak Ridge Boys

The Oak Ridge Boys are one of the longest-running bands in country music, and most amazingly, the quartet has the exact same membership today that it had back in 1973. They hit their peak popularity in 1981 with the Grammy-winning crossover hit "Elvira," but they still tour and record regularly today.

With their gospel roots, the Oaks are a natural fit to do a Christmas album, and they shine on spiritual Christmas classics like "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" and "Away in a Manger." The new songs are hit-and-miss. "Uncle Luther Made the Stuffin'" is an insignificant but enjoyable fiddle-and-banjo ditty. "Little Annie's Christmas Wish," on the other hand, adds nothing new to a worn-out theme, the impoverished child who draws a tear from the department store Santa with her selfless Christmas wish.

The traditional carols are fine, and the new songs vary. Fans of the Oaks will be pleased, but others would do better with some of this holiday season's better offerings.