Holiday discs 2013: Johnny Reid's A Christmas Gift to You
A Christmas Gift to You
The arrangements are impeccable on tracks like “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”, which starts out with sawing classical strings, and then adds what sounds like a 100-strong children’s choir to the mix. Too bad that Canuck-via-Scotland country singer Johnny Reid’s bourbon-cured vocals are delivered in a pained fashion that brings to mind fellow over-emoters like Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder. If you’re going to tackle “O Holy Night”, at least have the taste not to sound like a man struggling to pass a three-foot Scots pine.