Picks and Pans Review: A Christmas Message

updated 12/24/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/24/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Various artists

If you like your eggnog with a shot of soul, try this package. Vanessa Williams does a creamy cover of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Newcomer Brian McKnight trots out a funky but reverent reading of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." There's also "Silent Night"—no, not a new Milli Vanilli single, but the old favorite, which Sharon Bryant turns into a torch song. Tony! Toni! Tone! will have you dancing so hard with their hip-hop "My Christmas" that you'll put off being jolly.

You probably won't put this on when your parents drop by with Uncle Stuart. With its powerhouse singing and arrangements, though, the album is too original to be accounted a mere novelty. (Part of the proceeds go to New York City's Richard Allen Center for abandoned and abused children.) (PolyGram)

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