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Various Artists


Given that the Christmas album has become a staple of every record-company marketing department, it was only a matter of time before Disney entered the arena. Anyone who has endured the Disneyfication of a pet sound might be inclined to avoid Navidad en las Americas, but that would be a mistake if the sound in question is Hispanic. Whether by accident or altruism, the inheritors of Uncle Walt’s bowdlerizing impulse have let the Latin performers on this collection be themselves. Tito Puente slams home “El Tamborero” (“Little Drummer Boy”) like a rim shot, Celia Cruz wails imperially on “Arbolito,” and middle-of-the-road crooners Luis Enriquez and Ricky Martin aim straight down the white line with a perky salsified rendition of “Blanco Navidad” and a power-ballad “Que Hermoso Niño?” (“What Child Is This?”). The remaining array ranges from Brazilian bombshell Xuxa to classical tenor Placido Domingo to the now-venerable Jose Feliciano. Buy this recording, turn up the volume, and have yourself a merengue little Christmas.