Album: The Puppini Sisters, Christmas with the Puppini Sisters (Verve)

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The Independent Culture

Christmas with the Puppini Sisters sounds pretty much like any other time with them: a full-on cheese-fest of wannabe Andrews Sisters vocal arrangements of material which is, due to the thematic restrictions, less liberally sprinkled with surprises than usual.

"Here Comes Santa Claus" is typically formulaic, afroth with cornball brass and woodwind, while the most daring interpretation is probably of Wham!'s "Last Christmas", here set to oozing Gallic accordions, rustling brushes and swooning strings. Mariah's "All I Want for Christmas" gets an oompah jazz makeover, which isn't too bad, but their "Santa Baby", treated as it is to simpering strings and piano, is a sanitised, de-sexualised affair. And "O Holy Night" makes for an overly sombre conclusion, being excessively pious for their showbiz style.

DOWNLOAD THIS Last Christmas; All I Want for Christmas