Merry Barenaked Ladies Christmas

Look at me, on a Christmas jag.

Jen sent me the Barenaked Ladies Christmas album. I’d heard good things about it, so I was curious. Hell, it’s the Barenaked Ladies, it has to be good…right? Right? Wrong!

Well, it’s not horrible, not Barenaked Ladies Are Men horrible, but it doesn’t rock my socks off either. This is how I ranked the songs: kinda funny, ok, good, not half bad but kinda boring, blech!, mildly amusing, pretty, blech!, good, really good, blech!, pretty but creapy, pretty, that was stupid, cute, good god you wasted studio time on this?, super boring, kinda cute, blech and what’s with the ending, good. Confused yet? Let’s break it down.

The first song was Jingle Bells. You can’t really screw up Jingle Bells, and they didn’t. They even threw in the Jingle bells, Batman smells, 15 miles away bit. Hey, I got to hear clearly what some of the other verses were, so that’s always good.

The next song was called Green Christmas. It was an original, at least I think so. It’s funny. We get sick of the same Christmas songs, but if someone makes an original, it can be iffy. This one was just kinda there. I couldn’t get into the song at all.

Next was I Saw Three Ships. It was pretty, with mandolins and things, and they changed the rhythm up a bit. It was also a quick song, so you didn’t get sick of it.

Next was a song called Hanukkah blessings. It started off with potential. Then it quickly degenerated, and I found myself tuning it out.

When I heard the next song, it just about made me want to hurl! It was O Holy Night. I was all geared up for some beautiful Barenaked Ladies harmonies. Did I get that? Hell no! I got what sounded like a child at a recital with a cheap keyboard using preset accompanyments and trying to jazz it up! My god, sing! You can sing, do it!

After that horror was another original, at least I hadn’t heard it before. It was called Elf’s lament and Michael Buble sang with them. It wasn’t bad, and it sounded awesome after O Holy Shit back there.

Then there was another pretty song called Snowman. It was kinda lame, but hey, it’s a Christmas album, sometimes you just have to get lame. I thought woohoo, we’re on a role!

Nope, that would be too much to ask. They just had to cover the horror that is Do They Know It’s Christmas. Ug I hate that song. I can’t exactly put my finger on what it is about it, but it drives me friggin nuts. They did a fine job of covering it, because they made me hate it more. I just hate that attitude of thinking of those who have it worse off than you, but only to the extent that you should pity them and then happily gorge yourself on turkey. Fuck off. If you want to help, help. If you don’t, don’t. Sitting there and pitying people who don’t have what you have just makes you a dick. Um, where did that rage come from?

Then they did a catchy little tune called Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah that I could see myself snapping my fingers or whistling. It was pretty cool.

I think the next song was the best one on the album. They sang with Sarah McLachlan and did this medley of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and We Three Kings. I would have never thought about mashing those songs together, but they did, and they did it beautifully.

And then! Oh why oh why was I taken back to the child’s recital for a cheap rendition of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer? Puke! As soon as I heard the organs, I skipped the song!

Thankfully, they followed that up with something pretty, but creapy if you listen to it in headphones. They did this version of Carol of the Bells where the voices perpetually panned back and forth, making me dizzy. But it was pretty.

Next was another original called footprints. The melody was pretty, and I love the way the Barenaked ladies have this way of making the lines bleed together so the end of one starts another line. It’s neat.

And then. They sang the words Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young over and over and over to the tune of Deck the Halls. Dumb.

They redeemed themselves with this cute little sappy song called Christmas Time Oh Yeah. It just sorta gave you that warm and fuzzy feeling about Christmas.

But could that last? Nope. They had to clatter out a horrid version of Sleigh Ride that sounded like something you might do if you’re completely drunk and just want to belt out something christmassy. It didn’t even have words. It consisted of Bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, boppa doppa dop, boppa doppa dop, bop. And so on. Maybe I’m just cranky, but gimme a break.

Then they thought they should throw in an original. Too bad they had to choose a bad one. Christmas pics? It was so boring I tuned out.

Next, they put on a song that made me giggle and feel like a little kid. How many Christmas albums have I Have a Little Dreidel on them? Not very many.

Aa! I’m back in the kid’s recital, and now the song is Wonderful Christmas Time. I know this song already sounds synthesized, but why did they have to make it worse? The melody is quacked out by what is trying to be…a muted trumpet? I think? and it’s too hard to listen to. It’s too bad they buried some singing in there, an acappela version of happy birthday dear jesus.

Mercifully, the album ended well. They did a nice vversion of Auld Lang-Syne. Sweet, I finally know how to spell that. If I had to guess, I wouldn’t even be in the ballpark.

So, I’m glad I heard the album, but I’m glad I didn’t buy it. It has some cool stuff, but some pretty crappy stuff too.

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