Xmas Cheers (and Jeers)

Image credit: Faith Evans: Getty Images

HO SO SO
DIANA KRALL
Christmas Songs (Verve) Krall learned early on that she's better off being sultry than belting. But her reverence for Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas as a template has her overextending herself, scatting over a big band. Happily, as Krall calms down, the set picks up. B

BRIAN WILSON
What I Really Want for Christmas (Arista) Fun as it was when Wilson's Beach Boys soundalike tour band re-created SMiLE, there's no good reason for 'em to remake tracks from the Boys' 1964 classic Christmas album, although those self-covers do beat the newly written tunes. B-

FAITH EVANS
A Faithful Christmas (Capitol) After 2003's great Ashanti debacle, Evans' R&B caroling had to sound better. Some of her beat-heavy originals are Faith-based fun. Misses include an old James Brown Xmas tune with way more ''Good Gods!'' than any non-Godfather should attempt. B-