Review - Christmas Around the World

Artist: Various Artists

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Since most of the artists on this disc are from the Western Hemisphere (seven of the 12 artists are from the Caribbean, four are from the U.S.; the sole long-distance voyager is Los Reyes from France ... who play a mish-mash of Cuban son and Gypsy music), it's somewhat surprising how pleasingly diverse this compilation is. Steel bands, zydeco, guajira and fiddle music all show up and, in typically muted Putumayo style, offer a thoroughly middle-of-the-road journey through different takes on holiday cheer. Even though "Christmas Around the Way" might have been a more accurate title, playing this at family gatherings might convince people you're more well-traveled than you really are.

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