AP Reviews Winterlicious

Holiday music might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but with new records from Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys and Debbie Gibson, there’s something that might appeal to everyone at the table. So pull out the record player, light some candles and get festive — and thankful for new music.

Debbie Gibson, “Winterlicious” (Stargirl Records)

Writing your own Christmas songs must be a daunting, task but that hasn’t stopped Debbie Gibson. Thank goodness.

The singer who gave us “Only in My Dreams” offers “Winterlicious,” her first ever holiday album. It’s an eclectic set, mixing classics with originals, including a duet with her dad, a new Hanukkah song — big points for inclusion, Ms. Gibson — and ends with an emotional and super New Year’s Eve song, “Cheers.”

One highlight is a rare Christmas break-up song — she and New Kids on the Block’s Joey McIntyre co-wrote the terrific “Heartbreak Holiday.” Other Gibson originals like ”Jingle Those Bells,” “Christmas Star” and “Christmas Dreams” deserve to be on your holiday rotation and her cover of “The Candy Man” is a great showcase for her Broadway-ready voice.

The duet with Joe Gibson on “White Christmas” is painful — sorry, dad — but the driving, over-the-top and maybe even naughty arrangement of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” goes down well. This is an album that’s got something for everyone.

— Mark Kennedy

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