Pink Martini – “New York Times Holiday Gift Guide”

(Heinz, $15.99). Like a glitter-flecked bauble on a snow-flocked bough, this album plays up the holidays’ sparkling side. Which is about what you’d expect from Pink Martini, a retro-swank lounge orchestra led by the rococo pianist Thomas Lauderdale and the coquettish singer China Forbes. Hailing from Oregon, home to many a Douglas-fir wholesaler, the group seems right at home in this season of gaudy cheer. And yet “Joy to the World” strives hard to earn its title, with songs sung in Slavic, Semitic, Romance and East Asian languages. “Little Drummer Boy” adopts a Cuban rumba beat; “Auld Lang Syne” rides a samba churn. But the emblematic tune is an original, “A Snowglobe Christmas,” in which Ms. Forbes, backed by steel guitar, croons this fantasy:

We’re living in the perfect world of trees

And harmonies

I’m there with you

You’re here with me

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