When normal people sing in unison it tends to make them slow down, all waiting to make sure they're not ahead of others, and so we think of so many of these Christmas songs as near-dirges. But when performed by a band this excited about what they're doing, a song like "Jingle Bells" can truly sparkle, adorned with every glittering colored light arranger Brian Graham could wrap around it.

The hardest thing is keeping the lead vocal far enough forward in the mix when the full band increases in activity as songs go deeper, but Lester puts a bow on the tune with an extended "sleigh" that finishes the song and album on a high note.

It's only a side A's worth, really, and less than 20 minutes, but I expect this isn't the last holiday offering the Fogcutters will produce. Plus, you want to leave plenty of time for Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas and your rare Beatles Christmas record, only sent out to members of the fan club.

It just wouldn't be Christmas without those.

JINGLE THESE BELLS | Released by the Fogcutters | with Anna Lombard + Andi Fawcett + Adam Waxman + Eyenine + Kyle Gervais + Spencer Albee + Lady Zen + Dan Capaldi | at the State Theatre, in Portland | Dec 7 | fogcuttersbigband.com

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Music Features , Christmas, album, holiday,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY SAM PFEIFLE
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE INVINCIBLE OLAS  |  April 09, 2014
    The band have newly created Cada Nueva Ola , as rollicking as any family dinner table.
  •   DIGGING UP THE PAST  |  April 04, 2014
    Now Tumbling Bones have followed Ghost’s release earlier this year with a full-length debut of their own, equally impressive in its construction and execution.
  •   WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD  |  March 28, 2014
    The various instruments employed (mostly acoustic, in flavors of folk, gospel, and early blues) serve their purpose well: as a platform for Barrett to showcase her considerable vocal talents.
  •   SIGN ME UP  |  March 20, 2014
    On the brand-new Volunteer Kyle Gervais has enlisted a Brady Bunch of collaborators, who share songwriting credits and contribute vocals, musicianship, and production.
  •   SPELL IT OUT FOR ME  |  March 14, 2014
    Are you being reductive? Hearkening back to the Golden Age? Or do you put out what hip hop is?

 See all articles by: SAM PFEIFLE