You can bet bands like Grandaddy and the Flaming Lips love Christmas, cos they probably experience it with the same glee as they did as young children, asking for shed loads of toys and even agreeing to wear that obligatory dodgy jumper from Auntie Doris.
Consequently, it’s no surprise it’s their Stars Of Bethlehem that shine brightest here.
That both bands approach the task with tongues firmly placed in cheeks only adds to the charm of, in Grandaddy’s case, ‘Alan Parsons In A Winter Wonder Land’, and for the Flaming Lips, a drugged out ‘White Christmas’.
Other highlights include The Eels ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas’, Giant Sands ‘Thank You Dreaded Black Ice, Thank You’, and Departure Lounge’s ‘Christmas Downer’, all of which give you a warm Christmas glow. And full marks to Lauren Laverne, whose ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ certainly scores highest on the weird-o-meter.
The only people who apparently miss the point are Morgan, Big Boss Man, El Vez and The Webb Brothers, who’ve all chosen to record their tracks in a way which makes them sound about as Christmassy as a sandcastle.
Overall it’s Winter Warmers 17, Old Scrooges 4, and an album well worth investing in.
The (almost) perfect Christmas present.