Picks and Pans Review: Merry Christmas

updated 12/12/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/12/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey can sing. Still, she's out to prove it again on her first seasonal album. Listeners with sensitive eardrums will cringe at Carey's Olympian vocal bit, but crooning Christmas carols seems to be her calling. That pained, soulful expression that sometimes makes her sound like she's suffering from heartburn translates well to the inherently schmaltzy genre. And although her watch-me-SING attitude adds nothing but a few new octaves to hallowed tunes like "Silent Night" and "O Holy Night," both songs send chills up all the right places, and the frisky girl-group jubilance of "All I Want for Christmas Is You," one of three songs Carey cowrote, makes it as good as any of the classics that surround it. (Columbia)"

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