Brenda Lee's Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree includes the festive title track and a mix of classic holiday tunes, including "Winter Wonderland," "Silver Bells," "White Christmas," and "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." Unique Christmas and winter tunes like "Christy Christmas," "A Marshmallow World," "Strawberry Snow," and "I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus" round out this happy holiday collection.
If Brenda Lee had not recorded "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" in 1958, the holidays would not quite be the same. But for those who think that Lee's Christmas repertoire begins and ends with that beloved tune, they need to put this disc on their wish list. The Decca Christmas Recordings is a charming collection of Lee's holiday work, both known and obscure. And the range is fairly compelling. Moving from the lovably offbeat sentiments of the bayou-influenced "Papa Noel" and the angry child's take on the fat man "I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus" to more somber fare such as "Christmas Will Be Just Another Lonely Day," and the peculiar "Strawberry Snow," Lee's unforgettable vocal style leaves a perfect imprint. Her little hiccup-tinged singing voice is a hallmark of the season, making this 18-track set a true gift. --Martin Keller