Squirrel Nut Zippers, 1998
thing can be said for certain--Christmas albums never go out of style.
Nowadays, it seems that everyone and their brother is coming out with a
"very special holiday album." Usually these are tired remakes of tired
classic to fit into the artist's given genre (country, jazz, rock, etc...).
It's enough to make you want to by stock in a coal company. Squirrel
Nut Zippers, on the other hand, have come up with something that
captures the holiday spirit without having to rely on too many old standards.
You wouldn't think that their blend of old-time hot jazz and lazy river
blues would be the best foundation for a Christmas album, but because they
focus mostly on original compositions, it is their own style that comes
shining through. Even when they cover a holiday classic, such as "Sleigh
Ride," they do it with enough panache to make it sound fresh. It's
hard to say if this album will stand the test of time like Elvis'
Chritmas album or Bing's "White Christmas," but for the time
being, this is one of the hippest holiday albums you can have spinning
on your hi-fi while you try to get that cute little Christmas kitten under
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