On Oddball Christmas Albums

I have bought an underwhelming Christmas album on iTunes.

I like Christmas music. For being a godless heathen, I enjoy listening to it year ’round. I have many different Christmas albums. Medieval and Renaissance-styled. Vince Guaraldi and other jazz standards. Celtic. Even some Beatle-esque Christmas albums, which I wrote about here a few years ago.

There’s another Beatle-esque Christmas album, one I didn’t own. And I found it on iTunes — St. Nick’s Lonely Christmas Band.

It’s… odd.

It takes as its model Sgt Pepper. The thirteen tracks of St. Nick’s are done in the style of the corresponding track on Sgt Pepper. Thus, “Happy Holiday” is done vaguely like “Fixing a Hole.” “What Child Is This?” is vaguely like “She’s Leaving Home.”

What’s disappointing about the album is that it’s all instrumental. Yes, the instrumental pastiches are interesting, even occasionally creative, but half the fun of the Beatle-esque Christmas albums from The Fab Four and the Rubber Band is that they also aped the Beatles’ vocal styles. You lose some of the Beatle-esque-ness without the vocals.

It’s a novelty album, and one I don’t foresee myself turning to that often.

However, it’s still better than The Green Days of Christmas, which I picked up at Wal-Mart two years ago.

Here’s what the label of Green Days says. “Green Day’s pop-punk anthems transformed into classic Christmas carols. Features holiday-friendly versions of ‘Brain Stew,’ ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams,’ and so many more!”

I’m not sure that playing these songs instrumentally, and then putting lots of jangling bells and xylophones in the background, really counts as turning Green Day into “classic Christmas carols.”

Not! Christmas!

Though, I must admit. I would be perversely amused by a Green Day Christmas album. :lol:

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