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.
Chris Isaak — Chris Isaak Christmas
Chris Isaak and Silvertone rollick their way through a bunch of standards and a half-dozen or so originals. The Volgi digs the heck out of this album, particular the Hammond-organ riffed “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” perhaps the sole recording of the song not only keeps Confucius from changing the station, but actually turning it up.
His “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” duet with Stevie Nicks is a nice uptown take on the song. The half-dozen or so originals will appeal to any Isaak fan—the Mexican horns in “Hey, Santa!” are typical of the exuberances of the upbeat numbers, and “Pretty Paper” is classic Isaak brokenhearted mopery (that’s good).
The best original on the album for Confucius’s tael is “Got to Be Good” in which Isaak intersperses a Tom Waits-like refrain for a lusty counterpoint to the otherwise old-fashioned, 1920s-style tune.
Merry Christmas, all.
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.