Following the success of Neil's first Christmas album, his fans wanted more. Neil eventually gave them what they wanted by recording this second collection of Christmas songs. I guess he didn't need much encouragement because he is clearly in top form here. Neil's first Christmas album featured plenty of obvious classics and the basic formula is repeated here. Of course, there are so many classic Christmas songs that Neil had no problem in identifying enough of them that he wanted to record but didn't include on the first album.
Joy to the world, Mary's boy child (here titled Mary's little boy child), Winter wonderland, Have yourself a merry little Christmas, I'll be home for Christmas, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, Sleigh ride, Away in a manger, O come all ye faithful, O little town of Bethlehem and The first Noel all sound very familiar but Neil sounds great on all of them, with his arrangers sometimes adding a distinctive touch here and there. Only a little less familiar, but sounding great here, are Angels we have heard on high and the closing Hallelujah chorus. Likewise, the medley of Deck the halls / We wish you a merry Christmas is most welcome.
The rarest song here, at least in mainstream music, is Candlelight carol (a John Rutter song). I haven't heard the original yet, but I have the version by Aled Jones, which is brilliant. I'm glad that Neil recorded this song as it suits him ideally.
This is a great companion to Neil's first Christmas album although it's not essential to have both unless you're a committed fan of Neil's music. With plenty of familiar classics, it can be played at any time during the Christmas period.