Carole King, 'A Holiday Carole'
It’s been 10 years since legendary singer-songwriter Carole King last released a studio album, but following a very successful tour and live album with James Taylor, she’s back with her first-ever holiday collection. King sounds a bit tentative (and, for some reason, poorly recorded) on hoary classics like “Carol of the Bells” and “Sleigh Ride,” but a handful of soulful originals (co-written by her daughter, Louise Goffin) are more in her comfort zone, as is a wonderfully vintage arrangement (complete with flute solo!) of Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas.” The album’s biggest curveball is also its best pitch: a jazzy, “Charlie Brown Christmas”-like version of the traditional Jewish Chanukah prayer, sung by King, Goffin and King’s young grandson. –AH
Official website: http://caroleking.com/