Holiday Music Reviews

Reviews of Christmas albums by the Surfchords, Bob & April and Celtic Thunder.

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The Surfchords
Sea Sun Greetings

No! Sorry, but no. While it is possible to combine Christmas music with surf rock and a cheeky smile, and for the results to be great, this record from New York’s Surfchords is fucking diabolical. After listening to it, this writer literally wanted to stab Santa in the face with a coal shovel, and then pour scalding eggnog down his fat throat. Christmas is a time for joy and good will, so why would you want to unleash this cheesy pestilence upon the world? Despite the lyrics about chrome fins and cruising, this shit sounds like two drunken uncles were let loose with a Casio keyboard and a basic knowledge of Pro Tools. And the puns — there are so many that it quickly gets overwhelming, including “In the St. Nick of Time.” Fuck off! Never, ever listen to this.

Bob & April
It’s Christmas Time

Bob Monteleone is perhaps best known around town for playing guitar with the Look’s Dave Edwards in the reggae-rock band the Belle Islanders. Here, Monteleone pulls his wife April into the studio to record an album of holiday music. The wife’s voice isn’t at all bad, either, and Bob’s guitar work is just fine. What kills this record is the God-awful keyboards. It ends up sounding like the kind of thing you’d hear at the mall or, worse, a cruise ship. Maybe the idea of recording holiday tunes with a spouse sounded like a sweet idea when it was conceived. Maybe the idea was romantic, dreamed up with the best intentions. Sadly, the record lacks warmth or depth, and these old standards simply deserve better. This personal project should have remained private, only to be pulled out during those winter evenings alone, because even “Blue Christmas” shouldn’t sound this dull. 

Celtic Thunder
Christmas Voices

This album should sound epic. Take a group of Irish fellows with big voices and an orchestra, and give them a song list of such classics as “Carol of the Bells” and “Gaudete,” and this thing should soar with the angels. It should touch our very souls and fill the dourest Grinch or Scrooge with the joy of a thousand children. So how come it sounds as weak as an underfed hen? Where are your balls, boys? When one singer asks, “Mary, did you know that your boy would someday walk on water?” his tone suggests that he could just as easily be asking, “Mary, did you know that you could refinance your mortgage and pay it off in less time?” Banal, insipid and dull, this Celtic Thunder is more like a wet poot.  

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