ARTIST: The Robertsons
TITLE: “Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas”
LABEL: Capitol Nashville Records
STYLE: Down Home Country Christmas
NOTABLE: Christmas albums that play off successful television series are nothing new. When it comes to television actors singing Christmas songs, there are plenty of examples of the good (“Ally McBeal: A Very Ally Christmas”), the bad (“Bonanza: Christmas on the Ponderosa”), and the ugly (“Christmas with the Brady Bunch”). “Duck the Halls” has more good moments than bad, and only gets ugly when you look at the cover art.
A strong supporting cast of country stars, including George Strait, Alison Krauss, Luke Bryan, and Josh Turner, help keep the album on solid musical footing. A Walmart exclusive version features the bonus track, “Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy.”
HIGH POINTS: The best original songs on the album – “Ragin' Cajun Redneck Christmas,” “Christmas Cookies,” and “Why I Love Christmas” – would fit comfortably on most modern country albums. Even if you’re totally unfamiliar with “Duck Dynasty,” you’ll probably be smiling as you tap your feet to the album’s best track, “Ragin' Cajun Redneck Christmas.”
Some of the Robertsons – Willie, Missy, and 16-year-old Sadie – can actually carry a tune. A few of the ones who can’t – Uncle Si, Phil, and Jase – are given speaking, rather than singing roles. The Robertsons seem genuine, and don’t shy away from their Christian upbringing. They remind listeners of the true Reason for the Season several times throughout the album.
LOW POINT: The duck, redneck, and hair jokes start to wear thin pretty quickly. Worst of all is the title track, which alternates between sung verses and duck calls. Uncle Si narrates an uninspired version of “You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” His “Duck Dynasty” take on “Night Before Christmas” isn’t much better. Most of the other Robertsons – Jase, Reed, Phil, Korie, Jep, etc. – shouldn’t think about quitting their day jobs anytime soon.
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