Ben Rector - Jingles and Bells

rth unwrapping. "Jingles and Bells" is more cookies and hot cocoa than Scotch and hot toddies, but the six classic tracks are far from candy cane-coated.

With its easy organ, finger snaps and sleigh bells, album opener "Let It Snow" is a delightful swinger that features a baritone Rector intertwining with himself, echoing up-front lyrics with a second, more conversational set of improvised lines. Recorded amid holiday party atmospherics complete with cheers and hand claps, the piano-led "Jingle Bells" is lighthearted and playful. Accompanied by a piano alone, "Away in a Manger" is stark, soft, sweet and short' clocking in at only a minute-and-a-half' but Rector shows the most range with "White Christmas," a jazzy number rife with acoustic guitars and confident falsettos.

"Jingles and Bells" is merry, cheery and available on iTunes."?Joe Wertz