This second collection of Carpenters Christmas music on CD helped to fill in some of the gaps left by the Christmas Portrait Special Edition CD, but it did not fill in all the gaps.
It opens with the complete original opening sequence of songs from Christmas Portrait, except "O Come O Come Emmanuel" has been slightly changed -- in the opening line of the original version Richard sings "O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and ransom captive..." In this version, the opening line has been changed to say "O Come, O Come Emmanuel, SHALL ransom captive...," as if a bit of a later phrase has been spliced into the opening line. Very strange, and there's no explanation for it that I've found anywhere.
The songs from Christmas Portrait have been remixed here; there is more reverb in Karen's vocal than on the original album, and some of the instruments are placed differently in the mix. The remix of "Merry Christmas, Darling" on this collection is unique, with a newly-recorded keyboard part. However, Karen's vocal sounds distorted and damaged in this remix, which might be why this remix has never again appeared on a Carpenters CD.
While a nice collection, it is too short to have been put on two discs (the combined length of both CDs is less than 70 minutes). Had Time-Life included "Jingle Bells," "Do You Hear What I Hear" and "My Favorite Things," this collection would have been the perfect complement to the Christmas Portrait Special Edition, but as it is, it remains just another incomplete collection of Carpenters' Christmas music.
Produced by Richard and Karen Carpenter