7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2007
So I was lucky enough to get my hands on this, in time for Christmas no less. I threw it on and the wife was like, these Christmas songs make me want to kill myself. Things aren't as bleak as all that, but Conor and company certainly exhibit a much broader emotional range than your traditional holiday fare. That said, this is a relatively staid affair that eschews the strained pitches one might expect.
Some numbers, like "Christmas Time in the City", are real straight ahead. As such, I can't help but to project a measure of tongue-in-cheek irony. I say 'project', because I don't sense that there was any intent to actually be ironic. It just presents that way, a bit.
It would be wrong to call this a "Bright Eyes" record, per se, as it has a much more collaborative feel about it. (Actually, Bright Eyes albums are generally 'collaborative', but here Conor actually steps aside on a few numbers).
It's a pretty fun record that succeeds most when it avoids the sort of gravitas that is in evidence on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and rather embraces the sort of playfulness and risk-taking that is best exemplified on "Little Drummer Boy" - to me the album's obvious standout. It's a lo-fi, shortwave nightmare that conjures images of a "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"-era Jeff Tweedy dressed as an asbestos- and slag-contaminated Santa relieving himself on frayed high-voltage lines, while the female singer morphs into Courtney Love on ecstacy pretending to be a Catholic school girl, reminding him of the words. Brilliant.
Then there's a version of "T'Was the Night Before Christmas", which comes close to equaling the Louvin Brother's "Satan Is Real" for its Southern kitsch. What a trip.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2006
1 - Away in a Manger
2 - Blue Christmas
3 - Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
4 - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
5 - The First Noel
6 - Little Drummer Boy
7 - White Christmas
8 - Silent Night
9 - Silver Bells
10 - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
11 - The Night Before Christmas
Thought I'd fill in number 10 there.
7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2006
1 - Away in a manger
2 - blue christmas
3 - oh little town of bethlehem
4 - god rest ye merry gentlemen
5 - the first noel
6 - little drummer
7 - white christmas
8 - silent night
9 - silver bells
11 - the night before christmas
don't have #10, sorry
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2010
Even though I will only listen to this album once a year around Christmastime it is flawless. The only thing that bothers me is how long it took to receive it. I order on Amazon all the time and never have to wait more than a few days for my order but this seller took almost a full two weeks. By the time I got it Christmas was already over.