The triumph of Robbie and Nicole over veteran musician Gordon Haskell for the festive number one seemed to prove that even at Christmas fairy tales really don't come true. Never mind; the hirsute session man is left with a moral victory and the satisfaction of having struck a blow for old-fashioned, sentimental adult pop. Even so, it remains to be seen how many people will have the appetite for a whole album of the wistful, last-orders easy listening that fuelled the single How Wonderful You Are. And while most of the 12 songs here are pleasant enough, you might have expected something just a little more special from someone who's been storing up songs since his last album in 1972. Perhaps Haskell's most redeeming feature is his gruff, heartfelt vocal delivery, which shines with unadorned sincerity and put the preening vanity of the Robbies of this world to shame. A one-off then, but on the whole a welcome one.
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