Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, Christmas Together

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ALFIE BOEE AND MICHAEL BALL AND

At Christmas, Together

(UMO) Decca (Classics)

The reliable coziness of singing Christmas classics by Michael Ball and Alfie Boe is probably just what many individuals need at the end of a year full of unforeseen difficulties and tension. Listeners get just what they expect, like a Premier Inn bed, as the incredibly successful duo load their fourth duet album with Christmas classics such as O Holy Night and Silent Night, as well as pop hits such as Mistletoe And Wine, White Christmas and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

For a gentle reworking of The Christmas Album, Gregory Porter joins the duo for (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire). A cheerful and entertaining duet is the latest album, My Christmas Will Be Better Than Yours, and the poignant version of I Believe, a song written almost 70 years ago to give people hope, is ideally timed. The melodic voice of Ball and the deep tenor of Boe work well together, but it is the warmth of their long-standing friendship, which started with a Kismet production in 2006, that gives the album a true Christmas spirit.

Rouse Beverley

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