I know it's not even December yet, but despite my best intentions, the Christmas songs have started to play inside my head. Luckily for me, although I'm a huge fan of seasonal music, I spend as little time as I can listening to the fifteen or twenty songs that we hear all the bloody time from the end of September onwards. I don't mind most of the songs, it's just that they've been played to death and I'm simply bored of them. Yes, even the Pogues. What was once the 'alternative' choice as best Christmas song is now so thoroughly mainstream that it's about as alternative as Michael Buble.
Yes, it can certainly be hard to avoid Slade, Wizzard, the Pogues and the rest of them when they are playing on a loop in every shop you go into, and I'm certainly not immune... but, if you try hard enough, you can work to tune them out. Just think of the saxophone solo on "Careless Whisper", for example, and you should be fine....
There have been some brilliant seasonal albums released in the last few years. My favourite from last year was "Tinsel and Lights" by Everything But the Girl's Tracey Thorn. There's something about her beautiful, downbeat voice that really appeals to me. Her cover of Dolly Parton's "Hard Candy Christmas" is a thing of beauty. The song that gets me every time though is "Joy".
Ah! Beautiful. It might still be November, but I think I could listen to this song at pretty much any time of the year. AND I'M NOT SORRY ABOUT IT!
My favourite seasonal song is from the distinctly unlikely album "Funny Looking Angels" by the drummer from Razorlight and the singer from Editors, Smith & Burrows. It's a brilliant album, and again, much of this is good enough to stand up at any time of the year. "This Ain't New Jersey" is just a masterpiece.
Hmm. Another downbeat song. I'm rather afraid that might say something about me as everyone else is listening to mostly absurdly upbeat records.
Still, this is a bit more uptempo, and frankly, what's not to like about a Christmas Song about zombies?
Well I don't want to have my last Noel,
We'd better kick those zombies back to Hell
If we want to live to tell the Zombie Christmas!
But, you know. There's one seasonal song that stands head and shoulders above the rest. When one of my colleagues asked me what my favourite Christmas record was, this was my only possible answer.
My colleague just shrugged, said she'd never heard of it and started talking about Wham. Mind you, this is the same person who declared that it wasn't Christmas until she'd seen the Coca-Cola advert. The worst part was that everyone else agreed with her. WTF?
Anyway. It's not even bloody December and I'm talking about Christmas music. Well, at least it's good music, eh? (even if it might be a little mournful...)
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! (Is it okay to watch "Elf" yet?)
(btw, anyone got any good tips for Xmas albums this year?? I'm all ears....)