- Vancouver, British Columbia - December is a curious month in that Christmas just kind of takes it all over. There are 30 more days that month and all that is on everyone's mind is counting down the days until they eat a whole bunch of food and give presents to one another. Really, you could choose any day of the year to do that, but since everyone is doing it on December 25th, why not join in? Most holidays don't really get the wide assortment of music that Christmas does. I mean, Halloween has Thriller and... uhh... I don't think Easter really gets anything unless you're watching children's television. But almost every band or artist takes it upon themselves to contribute to the Christmas music tradition... except Radiohead, but maybe that's for the best. Sometimes they'll release a single, like The Killers made a habit of for quite a few years, or sometimes they'll make a whole album, like Cee-Lo Green did this year. I guess my main complaint is that so many people just copy the same standard songs time and time again... but sometimes that works. For my indie picks this month, I'm going to try and dig out some original music or find some of the standards that are performed in a way that's a little different this time, because hey, you might want some independent musicians on that holiday playlist next to U2, Mariah Carey, and George Michael... or was it WHAM? They can't have all the fun.
Music Reviews and Commentary
Entries in Christmas (4)
- Vancouver, British Columbia - I can't believe it's been six years since Sufjan Stevens released his collection of Christmas EPs called Songs For Christmas. I reviewed it a couple of years ago and found it to be one of the most diverse, encompassing, and even interactive Christmas albums. In a time where buying CDs is not really the norm, it was a package that was well worth picking up. And this year, seemingly out of nowhere, Sufjan announces a follow-up of five more Christmas EPs made over the last six years in a collection called Silver & Gold. Unfortunately, I can't discuss the physical contents of the album too much because I was only able to afford the digital copy this year, but all the music is there and that's the main feature of the album. The fact that there is more than that is really just a bonus to make it worth the investment of the physical purchase.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - Well, it's that time of year again. No matter where you go, you hear the inevitable Christmas tunes playing in shopping malls, television, Starbucks, and anywhere else you find yourself visiting around December. There is a charm to it all, but often it can get repetitive. And just about every popular artist has recorded a Christmas song, if not an entire album. Some of these songs are original, but for the most part you'll hear the same old traditional songs with a slightly different voice. And I have to say, I can't take anymore contemporary versions of Silent Night or The First Noel, or those other songs. Occasionally they're done very well and in a unique way, but more often than not it's just the same old song with maybe a country twang, or new beat or something. Christmas is a wonderful time of year and should continue to be a source of inspiration from artists so I don't understand why there aren't more original Christmas songs.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - Songs For Christmas is more than just any Christmas album. It's more than an album actually. What we have here is a collection of EPs which have Christmas songs that Sufjan Stevens put together from the last few years. There are five discs in total, one for each year from 2001 to 2006 minus a contribution from 2004. (Likely because he was working on Come On Feel the Illinoise) On top of that there are stickers, a comic, short stories by Sufjan, and even the song sheets for the music so you can learn his music too. Can you say good times? It instantly makes it one of the most worthwhile Christmas music purchases. It's more than music, it's an experience.