has always seemed more comfortable in glitzy, show-biz surroundings, so it's not a surprise that her 2004 holiday release, Rejoyce: The Christmas Album
, never approaches the old-fashioned manners implied in the title and instead wallows in the big, brassy, over-the-top spectacle of show biz. Rejoyce
is a Christmas album that sounds like it was recorded at a Las Vegas revue. It's filled with showstoppers and grandstanding, relying on the tried-and-true seasonal classics while offering a couple of new songs almost as an afterthought. It's bright and incessantly cheerful, always seeming loud even during its quietest moments because the music itself is bold and brassy. While she sounds a little too breathy on occasion, Simpson
acquits herself well on the record, and the entire enterprise will surely please her fans, particularly those who like her persona just a little bit better than her singing.