Wednesday, December 13, 2023

DJ Oscars Christmas Album Reviews

OOR is Holland's oldest, some might say bestest music magazine. Every year, CAGG's own DJ Oscar reviews (with an early deadline) for OOR the bestest Christmas albums. This year, he found it hard to find interesting albums (remember that early deadline); most tracks are released late, and/or only digitally. Anyhoo, for his column Oscar selected these fine sweets:

By far the funniest Christmas album of the year is a reissue (on vinyl, and digital): Destination Christmas! by The Superions (from 2010). A side project of Fred Schneider (B-52s). The cover got a make-over, the original songs are upbeat and cheerful. Notable tracks are synthpop-song Teddy and Betty Yeti and the French touch in Santa Je t'aime. And this video:
The opposite of this Fred is another Fred, Eaglesmith that is. With his partner Tif Glin he recorded eleven self-penned songs in the past decade, in their home studio, for an album called A Christmas Card. On the oldest recording, 'Hound Dog Christmas Day', you can hear their then 5 year old son. The atmosphere is relaxed, with here & there some, shall we say, Superionic energy:
American record label Hi-Tide releases mostly exotica music. Take the Christmas calypso of Charlie & the Tropicales. Most tracks were released earlier on an EP in 2019, but with 4 new tracks it's an album! It's cheerful, danceable, and I love that awesome horn and rhythm section. Bring on the cocktails!
Like Charlie, guitar slinger Joel Paterson is releasing instrumental Christmas songs, with a swing. It looks like a 60s reissue, but Joel is very much from 2023. The More the Merrier is his second Christmas album, all tracks are covers, with jazzy, surfy arrangements.
REAL Xmas tracks from the dusty past are on the yearly compilation of German speciality label Bear Family. Santa Swings - The Windup is a real deep dig in the oldies (30s, 40s). Gezellige Christmas music for all generations, with Armstrong, Basie, Miller, but also a nugget like this one:
Jangle Bells is more of the here & now, with recent indie-Xmas songs, from the fine purveyors of Rough Trade. Love that Sinkane track, Los Bitchos, and Pale Waves' Last Christmas cover. THE ideal present for under the tree, I'd say. Current favorite: