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One More Drifter in the Snow

4.1 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Grammy winner and Oscar nominee Aimee's first Christmas album is a collection of holiday classics and two original, beautiful, and bittersweet songs written by Mann and Michael Penn. Reminiscent of classic albums of the 40's and 50's, but without any retro kitsch. Like Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, and Peggy Lee, Aimee Mann captures the emotional beauty of Christmas.

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One More Drifter in the Snow offers a bittersweet--but not downbeat--look at a holiday that represents the height of happiness for some, the depths of sadness for others. Following in the classy footsteps of Miss Peggy Lee, Aimee Mann takes an intimate approach to an increasingly hectic time of year. In other words, the set is a throwback to a slower-paced era. (In cinematic terms, that means more Meet Me in St. Louis, less Jingle All the Way.) There are two fitting originals, "Calling on Mary" (Mann) and "Christmastime" (Jon Brion and Michael Penn). The rest are seasonal favorites, with the exception of Jimmy Webb's "Whatever Happened to Christmas," which may be new to some. On all tracks, the focus is on the tasteful strings--credit Patrick Warren for the chamberlin, celeste, and pump organ--and Mann's delicate delivery. Overall, the artist is more interested in providing comfort than radical reinvention, although a dreamier-than-usual "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" enjoys a slight edge over the other selections. Grant Lee Phillips, taking over from Boris Karloff, provides the theatrical narration on "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 27, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: July 27, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SuperEgo Records
  • Run Time: 33 minutes
  • ASIN: B000IMUYEC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,233 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew G. Sherwin HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Aimee Mann's first Christmas CD is solid: Aimee sings ten beautiful songs on this CD and her voice is in excellent form. Aimee passionately involves herself with her artistry; and this CD proves it.

The album starts off with the nostalgic and bittersweet "Whatever Happened To Christmas." The singer laments the fact she isn't as happy as she once was. It is only near the very end of the song that Aimee reveals that she longs for her former lover.

Other great ballads on this CD include "Christmastime" and "Winter Wonderland." The musical arrangements are very nicely done.

One surprise nostalgic song that makes me laugh is "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch." This brings back fond childhood memories when I watched this Christmastime TV special every year in December. Aimee performs this along with Grant Lee Phillips; together they pack a punch on this number.

There are classic Christmas ballads on this CD, too. Aimee sings "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire);" "I'll Be Home For Christmas;" "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "White Christmas." Aimee sings "White Christmas" with a certain extra melancholy style that draws attention to this number on the CD.

The CD ends with another rather bittersweet ballad entitled "Calling On Mary." Aimee makes a play on words between "Merry" as in "Merry Christmas" and "Mary" as is Mary Magdalene, the devoted disciple of Jesus. Aimee then calls upon Mary to grant her inner peace and strength at this very special time of year.

Although the CD impresses me as a solid album, the packaging disappoints me. The CD does not come in any type of jewel case but rather a thin cardboard case with a plastic holder for the CD. The liner notes, therefore, are practically non-existent.
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Format: Audio CD
Mann's take on the classics are enjoyable--enough of a twist to be interesting, though nothing that would wake the holiday shoppers from their stupor. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is especially good, beginning with a verse before delving into the standard arrangement and conveying a gut-wrenching sense of longing. Likewise, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is hauntingly un-merry. The standout tracks here, though, are the originals "Whatever Happened to Christmas", "Christmastime", and "Calling on Mary". They're exactly what you'd expect from an Aimee Mann album about Christmas: thoughtful melancholia. For those of us in sunlight-challenged climes, it's just the ticket for wallowing in seasonal affective disorder.
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Format: Audio CD
When I read that Aimee was doing a Christmas album, I too was surprised as her music is so introspective and often melancholy. But that is precisely what makes this album work. There are many artists who record Christmas albums without giving them their own personal stamp, and the result is that many of them deliver a kind of relentless bubble-gum cheer that becomes annoying over time. These recordings fail to acknowledge the double-edged sword of Christmas: the joy, but also the memories of years (and people) past, with that accompanying pain/melancholy. That is what this album accomplishes.

The two original songs are true standouts. "Calling on Mary" is an instant classic.
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Format: Audio CD
Generally, I'm not one to write reviews but, having read some of the negative reviews on this site, I feel a need to offer another perspective for fear someone might miss out on a really great album. That's right. A really great album. Not just a great Christmas record but a great album, period. Ms. Mann is in fine voice on this record and brings a hip, cool perspective to these old classic Christmas songs while including a couple of contemporary songs of her own which work beautifully with the classics. Overall, there is a laid back vibe to this record with a hint of blues and an oh-so-cool retro guitar courtesy of Duke Levine whom I had never heard before. Now, I plan to seek out his recordings.

The highlights for me include the retro-cool of "Winter Wonderland", the driving beat of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" (rock on - lol), the lovely, melodic acoustics of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and the beautiful melancholy of the outstanding "Calling on Mary". The new arrangement of "Christmastime" works in the context of the overall mood of the record but I prefer the original release of this song in which Ms. Mann duets with her husband, Michael Penn, who co-wrote it. And, no review can be complete without mentioning the devious fun heard in "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch." Musically, this record is a departure for Ms. Mann and I wouldn't mind hearing this sound explored further on a non-holiday album.

When I received this album in the mail yesterday, I thought I would listen to it once then put it away until December. However, I found myself listening to it over and over again with a brief interruption to listen to the new Amos Lee album, "Supply and Demand", and an old Miles Davis soundtrack "Ascenseur pour l'echafaud".
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Format: Audio CD
I really don't understand the negative reviews for this album. Aimee accomplished exactly what she set out to do, which is make a traditional Christmas album with a classic sound. This is a beautiful record. Chill, but engaging, letting the songs speak for themselves. So many artists today over-arrange their Christmas music to make it "interesting," and maintain their "identity." Aimee Mann just wants you to get into the Christmas spirit by listening to and appreciating these songs. Anyone who doesn't like this is basically saying that they'd rather listen to a regular Aimee Mann album. But people who want an early christmas fix should absolutely buy this one.
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