Inspired by Dr. J’s 12 Days of Christmas Music, Confucius says: here’s twelve albums of Christmas music from the past dozen or so years that are worth your while (and money). Of course, this will only bring us to the twenty-fourth, so you’re on your own for the actual Twelve Days of Christmas unless we get any more bright ideas. That said, we figure you’ll probably want to be left alone to deal with all the treed fowl, leaping lords, etc., that tend to fill up that period.
Leon Redbone — Christmas Island
Christmas Island could well be Confucius’s desert-island Christmas disk. All secular carols performed with the inimitable (well, eminently imitable, but nonpareil) Redbone style.
From a wistful “White Christmas,” to a light-touch “Winter Wonderland,” to a swinging version of one of the Volgi’s least favorite perennials, “Frosty the Snowman,” accompanied by another genius oddball, Dr. John, Redbone covers a surprising emotional range.
As you’d expect, the older songs do very well, with a peppy “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” and a longing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” among the album’s highlights.
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.