By Team Backbeat
By Amber Taufen
By Jon Solomon
By Tom Murphy
By Jesse Livingston
By Alejandra Loera
By Stephanie March
By Tom Murphy
Make mine a double, barkeep.
AND THE REST...
Not all seasonal songs can be found on seasonal albums. For instance, country singer Steve Wariner recently released "This Christmas Prayer" as a single intended to build interest in Steal Another Day, a non-holiday CD not due until February 2003. But the tune, an industrial-strength tearjerker about deprived children the world over who need to know that "God's shining star always leads you to someone who cares," had the opposite effect on me.
Still, a couple of other new CDs feature Christmas songs that are as unexpected as they are unique. On the moody, gorgeous album called And Their Surrounding Mountains (Merge), for instance, Radar Brothersdole out "This Xmas Eve," a tale filled with looming malevolence: Vocalist Jim Putnam promises to "keep the demons away as everyone sleeps." And on The Pawnbroker's Wife, a wonderfully lurid disc on the Catamount label, singer-songwriter Johnny Dowd unleashes the weirdest version of "Jingle Bells" imaginable.
Listeners will either love it or hate it -- just like all the best Christmas music.
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