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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars

TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 November 2014
'The Secret of Giving' is the kind of Country music album that to enjoy it you have to accept that the sentiments expressed in the rather predictable and sugary lyrics by the artist are genuinely felt/meant and not 'just for the record'. Its a dangerous tightrope to walk for any artist but I'm prepared to give Reba the benefit of the doubt here - others, however, may not be so generous...

Christmas songs are by nature warm in feel and soft in tone but you can have too much of a good/nice thing and this album works because it is just 35 minutes long. The better songs are the ones which have a religious element to them but other than that are not overtly seasonal. Opener, 'This Is My Prayer For You' being the best example of this. Its a nice song with an easy feel and sets the album up nicely. Also good is Reba's take on 'I Saw Mama Kissing Santa Claus'. A totally different version to the plethora of poppy versions we are used to, Reba has transformed the song into a sweet ballad full of imagery and thus she has made an old Christmas favourite feel fresh and new. 'Santa Claus Is Coming Back To Town' is another gem. A 'relationship' song, it highlights the heartaches that come when families split and ex-partners have to 'do their best for the kids sake' in difficult circumstances...

I wasn't as struck on the rather repetitive, 'Mary, Did You Know?' but then I'm not a religious person and so maybe the songs strong Christian message was just a bit much for me. 'Up On The Housetop' didn't quite come off for me either. Although it was boppy and a nice change of tempo, being just over 2 minutes long it sounded a bit exposed on its own in the middle of the set and came across therefore as somewhat of a 'token' party song especially seeing as 'The Angels Sang' comes next and (featuring a kids choir) teeters dangerously close to the twee and syrupy sweet line...

The remaining songs fall somewhere in between good and bad. In keeping with the feel of the album, they would all probably sound great individually on the radio but on an album like this don't really stand out.

So then, not a bad set and one with a few genuine highlights but by the end of this album, in spite of the artists sincerity, I have to admit I was beginning to yearn for something a lot less polished, a little more adventurous and with a genuine kick to it.

7 out of 10.
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERon 26 October 2003
This was Reba's second Christmas album. It is very different from her first (Merry Christmas to you), which was firmly rooted in traditional country.
Reba sings a great mix of old and new songs on this album. The old classics are represented by I saw Mama kissing Santa Claus and Up on the housetop. Two contemporary songs that could yet become classics are Mary did you know and Till the season comes round again. Kenny Rogers had previously recorded both of them for his album, The gift, although Kathy Mattea (on her Good news album) was the original singer of Mary did you know.
I have not heard any of the other six songs anywhere else but they are certainly worth hearing. My favorites are the opening This is my prayer for you and the title track, although One child one day is not far behind and the others are also wonderful.
If you enjoy nineties pop-country music and you are looking for something festive, this will suit you ideally.
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on 30 January 2016
Thank you Reba for the music, and of course the associates of Amazon, for bringing artist like Reba to folk like me. Thank you once again.
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on 17 January 2013
Reba simply does it for me country to have a christmas cd to bring out every year and play im very pleased. thank you.
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on 13 December 2012
A really lovely Christmas cd, Reba Mcentire at her best, as usual, some really lovely original Christmas songs on it.
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on 24 December 2014
Some nice songs here
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