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Various Artists Seasonal Greetings

So what does a seasonal compilation sound like coming from a place where the winter holidays aren't garish displays of commercialism? Germany's Mobile label offers a much more serene reflection on love, loss and grander themes with Seasonal Greetings. Essentially still a Christmas and winter song compilation, it manages to hold together more thematically than the usual collections of silliness and schmaltz. Hood's "Winter Will Set You Back" cuts deep, and Badly Drawn Boy soars high with his late- '50s/early- '60s pop opus "Donna and Blitzen." Perhaps best capturing the overall tone of Seasons Greetings is Herrmann & Kleine's "Catch a Snowflake," which is every bit as mesmerizing as the first snowfall.

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