AMERICAN IDOL The Great Holiday Classics (RCA/BMG) Rating: N
Much like Chuck Taylor stilettos, the reason for American Idol's "Who wants to be a celebrity?" popularity continues to evade me. I know a lot of folks are all over the sickening high-gloss crooners cranked out by the glorified Star Search, but I truly believe it's made popular music regress to prehistoric times. This holiday classics album - complete with a bonus disc of Kelly Clarkson screeching Oh Holy Night - is further proof. Here, a slew of Idols and almost-Idols robotically whine tunes you're already sick of, like Silent Night, Silver Bells and Winter Wonderland, over personality-free orchestral arrangements (they sound like synths but the liner notes tell me otherwise). The highlight is hearing Clay Aiken transform The First Noel into what sounds like his audition for Rent. Ghastly.