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A country pop siren slips into something modern and festive

Giving the holidays a contemporary, soulful sheen, country pop star LeAnn Rimes strikes the perfect balance between tradition and invention on her second Christmas album. She offers up original tunes like the piano-led pop ballad “The Heartache Can Wait” and the brass-punctuated, R&B-flavoured title track. Meanwhile, she slips in some surprises when tackling evergreen holiday fare, slowing down “We Need a Little Christmas” to add the maximum amount of soul, or getting sweetly jazzy on “Christmas Time Is Here.”

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