Artist:    Plus One
Label:   Atlantic Records


Two preliminary notes to get out of the way…  For the 21+ skeptics crowd out there who think boy bands are beneath them:  Christmas is not just for teen groupies or love-struck kiddos.  And for Plus One:  Christmas is the album that proves you need to stick to the singing and forget about the dancing.

Christmas really is worth celebrating.  From the beginning and strongest cut ("This Is Christmas") to the ending big band romp ("The Most Wonderful Time of the Year"), you'll hear that the vocals have been expertly arranged—á la Boy II Men or vintage 4Him—for a smooth blend that's easy on your auditory faculties.

Once again, a lineup of award-winning producers has been assembled (David Foster, Matthew Gerrard, Bernie Herms, and Tedd T.).  But interestingly, Christmas doesn't feel over produced or contrived like much of Plus One's first two projects (The Promise, Obvious) certainly did, and new takes on classic carols are pleasant surprises.  And there is tremendous sing-along potential throughout. 

Stacked vocals on "Silent Night" with the "oohs" and "aahs" come together in a rich sonic tapestry that's reminiscent of the old Good Year Christmas records way back when (remember those?).  Other standouts include "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year", which is just pure fun with a big band sound throughout, and the medley "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas/I'll Be Home for Christmas/Oh Come Let Us Adore Him" where each carol flows seamlessly into the next and allow most of the group members a star turn at the mic.  Thankfully, boy-band-sounding moments only left a bad taste on "I Won't Forget This Christmas" and "Grown Up Christmas List", but worked well on "This Is Christmas".

While the speculation abounds as to whether or not this is the fivesome's last album together, I'd venture to say it's their best album together.  So if they do decide to pull a sayonara, why not go out with a bang this Christmas