Kelly Clarkson's 'Wrapped in Red' review: An early gift

"Wrapped in Red" by Kelly Clarkson.

"Wrapped in Red" by Kelly Clarkson. (Credit: Handout)

Is there a style of music Kelly Clarkson can't sing? On her first Christmas album "Wrapped in Red" (RCA), she tackles songs by everyone from Irving Berlin to Imogen Heap, as well as four she co-wrote, including "Winter Dreams," an ode to new husband Brandon Blackstock.

Clarkson handles it all expertly -- hitting remarkably high notes on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and swinging jazzily on "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Ronnie Dunn. The new songs make "Wrapped in Red" a real gift, as the title track and "Underneath the Tree" channel the Phil Spector Christmas albums; and "4 Carats" somehow blends "Stronger" and "Santa Baby."


KELLY CLARKSON

"Wrapped in Red"

THE GRADE A-

BOTTOM LINE An early holiday present that will last for years to come.

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