Confession: I have nothing against Christmas music – when the music is not godawful, that is. I’m actually quite a Xmas-friendly guy, so any seasonal album that carries the honest spirit and is musically decent is ok with me.
And then there are the *really* good modern Xmas albums, most of them by women: Aimee Mann, Annie Lennox, Tori Amos, Loreena McKennitt, Sarah McLachlan, Cara Dillon, Emily Smith, Kate Rusby…
So now it’s my pleasure to tell you that the ever-fabulous The Outside Track join the select few artists who, in my books, have made a Christmas album that is… dare I say exceptionally good?
As I heard about the Track doing a seasonal album, I went hhmm for a moment. They are an act brim full of energy and sparks and their live thing is a total wow – but Christmas?
Ah, should not have had doubts. The Christmas Star is mostly very intimate and up close, with a few bouncier reel moments here and there. Nothing feels forced, the playing is, as to be expected, superb, and as the album’ s dramatic arc turns, like Christmas night, more quiet and delicate towards the end, the emotional charge only grows.
Picking out individual songs is irrelevant when the album is this strong, but what the heck… I love the way Joy To The World turns into a, well, joyful reel after a low key beginning; The Kerry Christmas Carol is totally lovely; the title track and There’s Still My Joy are deeply moving statements of humanity at Christmas and the treatment given to Auld Lang Syne is just… unique.
Do I love this album? Will this be a part of my ”play this every Xmas season” library? Whaddaya think?
Nothing to add, except huge thanks to the band – you guys brought something special to my December 🙂
Get your seasonal spirit here: