A Near Thing -11

What’s worse? Insincere pop. That’ll work for anticipatory itching for Christmas to come!

Lala Deaton’s an obvious talent, but the uptempo jazz piano bar swing from the ’70s does her no favors. “Holiday Rush” is well meant, but gives me a TV headache.

King o’ cheese Barry Manilow flounces his way through “Christmas is Just Around the Corner.” It’s not so much effortless genius as phoned-in scmaltz.

It’s Almost Christmas” is the bouncy froth that kids of all ages pretend they are too good for. Infectious, but not that good. Justin LeBreck, Kimberly Woycke, and James Marquis swish and boom like Christmas is fun or something.

Let’s pump it up to the funky rap-pop of Holiday Boiz. “Christmas is Almost Here” is peppy fun, not what funk or rap should be at all. Eyebrow raising.