Album: Various artists, Christmas Rules (Decca)

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The Independent Culture

What event could possibly have gathered together artists as diverse as Andrew Bird, Rufus Wainwright, Paul McCartney and The Civil Wars?

Christmas, that's what. But while you might expect things to take on a flavour as wide as that list of names suggests, what we get is a coherent seasonal soundtrack. Nothing really leaps out, which at any other time of the year might be a criticism but is surely what you want from a Christmas album.