Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday
Yesterday, Ed and I were sitting in a restaurant, eating the best fast food breakfast ever and trying to get warm (at the time, it was 42 degrees. In Florida. Brrrrr!) On the store music, there was a progression of Christmas music, some good-some bad.
A good one came on-Elton John's "Step Into Christmas". Why is it good? Because the band is totally invested in the song. Ironically, it is the B side to "Ho Ho Ho, Who'd Be a Turkey at Christmas", but you probably haven't heard that one, have you?
It led to a discussion of what is good and what isn't. The head scratchers and the ones that you are drawn to, year after year. Ed's favorite just may be the Carpenters. They definitely aren't phoning it in. Personally, the songs are just too darn treacly to listen to more than two at one time.
The best efforts are the originals, the new ones that will become classics in the years to come. My favorite is "Christmas Wrapping", because it's offbeat and different.
The humorous? The artists that don't celebrate Christmas, but they've got an album about Jesus's birth-or even several. I guess that can be chalked up to pleasing the fans who do celebrate Christ's birth.
The worst? The ones that they're rerecording the standards, but you can eliminate the vocals and not tell the old from the new. The ones where the band sounds like a lackluster wedding band phoned it in. They don't bring anything fresh to the genre.
The best thing an artist can do is release a holiday single if they don't have the inclination to put the effort into a whole album. This way, everybody wins.