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Just Say Noel

Just Say Yes (Series)Audio CD
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 29, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Dgc/Geffen/Reunion
  • ASIN: B000000OW1
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,995 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Little Drum Machine Boy - Beck
2. Christmastime - Aimee Mann With Michael Penn
3. Santa Doesn't Cop Out On Dope - Sonic Youth
4. Christmas - The Posies
5. Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa - The Roots
6. Merry Christmas Baby - Southern Culture On The Skids
7. Christmas - Remy Zero
8. Gloria - Elastica
9. Christmas Is Quiet - Wild Colonials
10. Thanks For Christmas - XTC
11. The Closing Of The Year - The Musical Cast Of Toys Featuring Wendy And Lisa
12. Amazing Grace - Ted Hawkins

Editorial Reviews

Good cheer is in limited supply among alt-rockers, but Just Say Noel is a small, charming garland with a couple of solidly terrific originals: Beck's long, loony "The Little Drum Machine Boy" takes a few well-known lines and spirals off into a groovy stream of consciousness, and Elastica's "Gloria" is one of their finest rockers. There are some unexpected cover choices, too: the Roots do De La Soul's grim "Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa," and Sonic Youth dig up Martin Mull's "Santa Doesn't Cop Out on Dope." Beyond that, the disc is split between warm renditions of well-known numbers and overproduced goop, but Ted Hawkins's deep, wrenching solo version of "Amazing Grace" shouldn't be missed. --Douglas Wolk

Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
2.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than it sounds December 18, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Better than it has any right to be, this collection of unusual Xmas songs by Beck, Sonic Youth, Xtc and others puts the SPECIAL CHRISTMAS cd's for Special Olypmics to shame. Be forewarned, though--you need a sense of humor to appreciate these sometimes twisted Christmas songs.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worst than a skiing holiday, better than socks December 12, 2005
By Shanky
Format:Audio CD
This was recommended to me by a friend with unusual taste in music and, given that, I wasn't suprised by the truly bizarre mix of tracks here. Its not consistently festive, conistently alternative, consistently good, or consistently anything else to be honest, but there are some gems buried here. The Beck opener is a solid track, not one of his best but no embaressment. The Sonic Youth track (a cover) is...interesting. Not one of their most tuneful, and thats saying something. The rest vary between cheesy 70s-style pop (XTC), mournful wrist-slitters (Remy Zero) and some delicately beautiful melodies (especially the dated but brilliant Posies number). Definitely worth a look if you can get it cheap, and a nice alternative to the usual Christmas suspects - just don't expect any miracles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
"Just Say Noël" is a good example of the kind of Christmas-holiday-rock compilation CD that used to show up in record stores during the 1990's, right around the time that Thanksgiving Day brought with it the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Released in 1996, it provides a good insight into what was going on musically during those times. While some of the artists included on this collection seem to be trying a bit too hard to approach the holiday theme with a hip, irreverent, post-modern attitude (in accordance with the cultural norms of those alternative/indie-rock times), a surprising number of these songs hold up well, despite the passage of time, and might make for a good addition to your holiday rituals.

Beck starts off the album with "The Little Drum Machine Boy." Beck was quite popular back in the early 1990's; I can recall how his "drive-by body-pierce" hit song "Loser" -- "Soy un perdidor/I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me" -- was playing on 98 Rock in Baltimore ALL THE TIME in 1993-94, back in the good old days of Kirk, Mark & Lopez. I hope my jaded attitude toward Beck's overplayed, tragically hip 1990's hit does not unduly influence my attitude toward Beck's contribution to this album. Beck brings phase-shifted vocals and a hip-hop quality to the traditional "Little Drummer Boy" tune. There's a nice "Jingle Bells" break in the middle, and the Hanukkah references are appreciated; but at 7 minutes, this song goes on much too long.

"Christmastime" by Aimee Mann with Michael Penn offers a nice duet quality -- smooth, emotional vocals, well-supported by organ and electric guitar. I appreciate the "less is more" quality of this song, with its wistful, melancholy quality and the way the Mellotron comes in at the end.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Merry Christmas, David Geffen! December 6, 2007
Format:Audio CD
This is another Christmas compilation album. It is an odd mixture of tunes. There are a couple of great songs; those being "Christmastime" by Aimee Mann & Michael Penn and "Thanks For Christmas" by XTC. Also notable is "The Little Drum Machine Boy" by Beck, which starts off well but runs too long at seven minutes length. The rest of the songs are not really anything special. Particularly bad is Wendy & Lisa's awful song from that awful movie Toys. But the good songs I mentioned save it from being a complete disaster.
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