Wicked (Reindeer) Game

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The missus and I finally picked out our Christmas CD for this year (well really I picked it out, but she was cool with it). We went with the retro-cool sounds of Chris Isaak and his newest CD, Chris Isaak Christmas. I had my sights set on a Beach Boys Christmas CD, but the California sounds on Isaak’s CD are close enough.

Isaak runs through plenty of the new classics like “Rudolph”, an earnestly Elvis-like “Blue Christmas”, “Let It Snow”, and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (with help from Stevie Nicks). Sometimes, like on “The Christmas Song”, he doesn’t have much to add (who could top Nat "King" Cole anyway?) but the laidback yet inventive sound of his band makes the song worth a listen. Other times, like on “Mele Kalikimaka”, Isaak and his band nail it better than the original. Bing Crosby’s version of this song may be the most famous, but the song should really be sung by someone who owns a surfboard. Just like Fats Domino on Christmas Gumbo, Isaak brings new enjoyment singing these songs we’ve heard a million times without becoming too goofy.

As great as Isaak handles the classics, what really makes this CD worth owning are the five new original songs on it. Isaak somehow has written Christmas-y songs that wouldn’t feel out of place on his non-Christmas CDs. Well, except for “Gotta Be Good” which, if the world would be willing give a new non-novelty Christmas song a chance, would quickly become a classic of it’s own.


At 4:50 PM, Blogger Dee said...

If you like California so much why don't you see if we can get a job and move out there?

At 7:24 PM, Blogger Donna said...

'scuse me??


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