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The Greatest Holiday Album of All Time
Posted November 18, 2007
By art10,

Next to Charlie Brown, this is a must have for your Christmas collection, because if you listen to any Christmas album nowadays, they all seem the same, no deph, no substance, what you see is what you get, and what you've heard a million times before. This album on the other hand, defies all conventional Christmas music logic, because I guarantee you Harry Connick Jr. never put out a song that had lyrics like, "Rudolph's puking ball of holly, and ole St. Nick ain't all that jolly."

For those of you who are long-time Relient K fans, and got their Deck The Halls CD back in the day (a few years ago), you already have half the album. Unfortunately, I became a fan like most, after listening to MMHMM, therefore, we never had a copy of the CD, I had listened to most of it in various places, but it still remains one the most elusive Relient K Cd's I don't have. So, the packaging together benefits people like me who did not own the previous CD.

The first song off this album might not be the most eye-catching song off the album, but it's nice in it's own little way. "Sleigh Ride" is great on this album, but even better live with the whole experience the band creates for the audience. The song starts off a little jazzy and slow, than to its normal pace, than it rockets toward the finish in true Relient K fashion.

Song like "12 Days of Christmas," "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" are what made their first Christmas album such a success, amazingly Christmas music seems to be the only time of the year when rock is not openly welcomed, well, that's not the case here. These songs are short punk-rock styled Christmas classics, and they work brilliantly. Why hasn't anybody done this before? "I'm Gettin' Nuttin' For Christmas" is a new addition that seems to go perfect with this group of songs, with this fast-paced novelty. The best part is the little part at the end of the song, listen for it, Santa Clause is mad.

The before mentioned "Santa Clause Is Thumbing To Town" is truly a Relient K original, and while not one you'll want to carol to the local nursing home, it's a fun blasting stereo listen. "Handel's Messiah" is great for any time of the year, since the first 20 seconds is the hallelujah chorus, and perfect for any triumphant moment. However, there's a tale of two sides of the album, in that it goes from punk-rock to emotional stunning ballads, and back again. This is my biggest quibble about the album: the flow.

"Merry Christmas, Here's To Many More" is a great song with heart, soul, and hope for the holidays. A perfect original by the band. The melody of Silent Night and Away in a Manger is perfect together, and is a sweet ballad that really showcases Matt Thiessen's vocal talents. The next song flows into another great Christmas original that really puts the focus on Christ, but really shines in the last 30 seconds. "In Like A Lion (Always Winter)" isn't really a Christmas song, as much as it is a winter song. Written for the mediocre album inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia movie, but rejected, the band put it on Apathetic EP, and now finally two years later, on its first full length album. A bit out of place, but still nice nonetheless.

"I Hate Christmas Parties" is a very emotional song about a breakup at Christmas time. I wonder if something like it really happened, because the emotion really seeps through Matt Thiessen's voice. "Boxing Day" is a somber song about the boxing of Christmas lights, reflection of the past year, and the hope of a new one, "Christmas, it makes way for spring." This is a great New Year's song, and really conveys the thoughts you have when Christmas is over, a new year is upon you, and you stop and think where you've been since the last time.

Before I rant on the flow of this album, among other things, let me just say, skip tracks 16 and 17, because there really is no point to them. Anyways, this album is not a Christmas album, as much as it is a Holiday album, from Christmas to New Year's, and maybe a little after.

This album in terms of song quality is second to none, the album quality on the other hand, is rushed. While 1, 2, 3 flow fine, as does 7, 8, 9, they belong at the end of the album, instead of going fast, slow, slow, fast. This method doesn't leave any room for the listener to get into the music, there's no flow of emotion flowing throughout the album, it's visible here and there, but it's quickly interrupted. I would have greatly liked the album to flow a whole lot better, and in my book keeps it from being the best Christmas album ever, Holiday album yes, but not Christmas. Sorry, Charlie Brown keeps that distention another year longer. Good Grief.

So pick up the album, even if you have Deck The Halls, because the new songs are truly worth it. If you don't own that album, this is a must-have. To not listen or buy, would be a crime.

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