You’re tucked up in bed, all cosy with the fairy lights illuminating the Christmas tree at the end of your bed. You can hear wrapping paper being pushed into a sack, running into the lounge faster than you ever have before you just manage to catch a glimpse of Santa’s feet flying back up the chimney. Tearing into the present with your name on it left under the tree, you can barely contain your excitement, and then….Coal!
This is an album that will get you in the Christmas spirit, and heck it will even make you laugh when you come across such obscure tracks such as ‘Zombie Christmas’, it’s fair to say the urge to pick up the sleigh bells may be too much for some! However, as it is well documented a Christmas song (or album) does not have to be good to be ‘Christmassy’.
As good as some Ash songs are, and as lyrically intelligent and vocally strong as Emmy the Great is, the two individual artists sounds are both very recognisable but unfortunately, in parts, not very compatible. The album feels laboured with some tracks sounding like Emmy does Ash and vice versa, with very little room for any real collaboration or chemistry to develop – to use the previous analogy it’s the ‘Coal’ and not a nice new shiny train-set you’re left with. This is very disappointing as in live situations the two artists seemingly have excellent camaraderie, furthermore the acoustic versions of this Christmas selection are excellent performances and are without doubt light-years better than their recorded counterparts.
While this album is laced with the Christmas spirit that can be heard in classic Christmas hits of old, the cheesiness of this album is at times a little ‘too much’. ‘Happy Holidays’ easily tops the aforementioned ‘cheesiness’ chart and will leave the cynics declaring ‘Bah Humbug’ while gesticulating furiously with their walking sticks.
Overall the songs on offer do enough to give you that fuzzy feeling you’re supposed to have and more importantly it’s more about the fun and celebration (i’m sure the LP was never written to grace Brit or Mercury nomination lists) however, Santa may just look elsewhere for his musical stocking fillers this year.