Picks and Pans Review: The Animals' Christmas

updated 12/08/1986 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/08/1986 01:00AM

Art Garfunkel and Amy Grant

Solemn and dry, this album hardly seems like the work of two such popular singers. It is, rather, a semiclassical composition, originally performed by Garfunkel with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London. It sounds like a mis-Handeled oratorio. The music, by composer Jimmy Webb, leaves a droning impression. Almost the only spot of brightness is in Carol of the Birds. Some segments of Webb's libretto were taken whole from the Gospel according to Luke. There are worse places from which to lift material, but the connections between the New Testament and the animal tales that are interwoven on this LP seem tenuous. That's so even when the words are understandable, which is not often. Grant's voice manages the portentous score better than Garfunkel's, but the best sound comes from the King's College School Choir of London. The children's lively, sweet tones are a reminder that this record is supposed to be about a joyful time that celebrates the spirit of hope. (Columbia)

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