DADAWAH – Peace and Love (1974)

Review by: Kyle Wilson
Album assigned by: Syd Spence

Reggae and Rastafari will always be connected in the cultural zeitgeist, at least when it comes to Jamaican music, but where Bob Marley uses it as a backdrop for creating pop songs with great grooves and catchy vocal hooks, Ras Michael, here going by the name Dadawah, gives us a deep, religious exploration in his “classic” 1974 album Peace & Love.

I put “classic” in quotes to convey my mixed feelings about the album, but it is certainly Classic with a capital C for a lot of people. Almost every review I’ve seen praises it as one of the greatest albums of all time. Perhaps I’m missing something, though I’m sure I’m not the target audience.

I consider myself one of those annoying people who claims to be open to any kind of music, but who is probably more elitist than I let on. Reggae has never been one of my favorite genres, despite the fact that I’m white, American, secular humanist and I have never smoked pot in my life. I know. Shocking. Still, every genre can be good, even *gasp* country music! And of course, I like the aforementioned Mr. Marley, because I’m human.

So when I was assigned this album, it was a little daunting, not to mention confusing, since it seems to have nothing to do with winter, but I went ahead, before reading any reviews, and started listening to it, all 4 tracks in 38 minutes…

Overall, it was…good. The tracks are obviously all very long, but prog this ain’t.

Basically, the whole album sounds pretty much the same. Dadawah and his musicians spend about 3/4 of the time chanting and yelling mantras about Zion (which is Ethiopia) and “Jah Rastafar-I!!” over a series of long, repetitive grooves, thanks to some nice sounding bass, piano, electric guitar, and traditional nyabinghi drumming, and what seems like relatively little time actually singing the words with real melodies.

Which is fine! This is a (purportedly) honest exploration of Ras Michael’s religious beliefs, and he’s clearly going for atmosphere and spirituality over memorable melodies. On the entire album, there was only one line that stuck with me, melody wise. The “come away, come away, from the land of the sinking sand” bit on “Run Come Rally” was genuinely catchy. Lyrically, when I could actually make out the words, it seems to be mostly religious and Rastafari clichés, and a lot about peace and love (shocker!), though I liked the line about there being a time when there will be no first, second or third world nations, which I believe was in “Seventy Two Nations,” appropriately.

A quick track by track run down, just to get the last important details out of the way.

“Run Come Rally”: A lot of chanting and decent grooves, and one catchy line apparently.

“Seventy Two Nations”: Musically and lyrically seemingly identical to the first track, and in my two listens of this album, I couldn’t tell where the track started.

“Zion Land”: My pick for best track. I can’t really figure out any of the lyrics, and I was unable to find them online, but considering the title, probably something about the Bible. What I like though, is, almost no chanting. Ras Michael actually sings throughout the whole song. Also, this may sound strange but, this track gave me something of a…Procol Harum vibe? Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s just the first thing I thought of.

“Know How You Stand”: Apparently this album is a trip through to…the apocalypse? The renewed Zion? If you say so. All I know about the last song is, it seems to be the most…musically dynamic? The grooves seem to be louder and more menacing.

And that’s about it. Like I said, I only listened to it twice. After the second time, I doubted I would ever listen to the album again, but honestly, I might. It inspired just enough curiosity. Maybe a third listen will inspire even more.

I suppose I get the hype. The album sounds very important. I just don’t agree with it. But hey! People can love whatever and whoever they want! Peace and love, mon! Peace and love!

In conclusion, as an album, it was…interesting. As an expression of a religious belief that Jesus Christ was reincarnated as an Ethiopian emperor who consistently denied being Jesus Christ, it was…interesting?

MAGAZINE – Secondhand Daylight (1979)

Review by: Tristan Peterson
Album assigned by: Jonathan Moss

Essays About Fucking 
(slightly edited but mostly as the author intended – Ed.)
I’ve been sick, so reviewing this will be a struggle. I’ve been able to watch a lot of porn though. Lemme share with you two of my favorites. Do note that I’m not one of the assholes that might actually read titles of videos and use them to determine their quality. I’m not a connoisseur of porn, I just like jerking off. The sites I use are confidential. This is for kids, after all.

I have no idea why it’s titled that [NOTE: This sentence looks silly now that the titles have been edited out but don’t tell Tristan. – Ed]. Presumably because those are their names, but I don’t know for certain. This is one of the few “amateur porn” videos where you can a) actually see what’s going on and b) it’s not just testicles flapping against the taint, an ever increasing problem in the pornographic video world. The girl seems to have dyed red hair, which, if you like dyed hair, but not unnatural dyes, this is good for you. Just like this Magazine album will be good for you if you like Rush, but not if you like post punk, as it isn’t post punk. She shaved as well, obviously indicating a sense of modernity in the shooting, which is also like Secondhand Daylight, in that the album still sounds shockingly modern. They do a bit of everything, and I’m guessing that this Jack (fucker) and Emily (fuckee/fuckess [take your pick]) are a couple of some sort. Hopefully they aren’t related. Incest is not wincest.

Dakota is a personal favorite. She’s hot imo. Nice body, perky and doesn’t need much makeup caked on her to look good. What caught my interest, however, was how the intro states that the video has “3D Audio.” So, for once, instead of whacking it, I listened to porn for the sonics. The concept of “3D Audio” intrigued me. Is it just a fancy name for surround sound? Or has this video’s audio actually transcended into the mystical third dimension, and given a much more pleasurable listening experience than Secondhand Daylight by the band Magazine (which is a good album, a bit retro but good overall. It isn’t post punk though)?

Well the video isn’t the highest of quality, the title wasn’t kidding when they said POV. But it looks like some sort of SnorriCam type of bullshit, which only looks good in those weird artsy movies. I’m pretty sure this isn’t art porn. But only pretty sure. And somehow, Dakota has a fucking gopro strapped to her head or some shit, but only in certain shots, which fucks the realism up for me, at least to some degree. (Note: By “realism” I mean consistency in audio and shot techniques. The camera on Dakota has far worse audio quality than the camera on the unnamed, presumably 30-something male. To be fair, the audio on the male’s camera isn’t much better but Dakota’s is worse than should be allowed in porn. The editing is also really choppy and inconsistent, breaking the flow of the story. But I digress.)

So, as i watched the video, I could not necessarily call the audio “3D,” I could only call it “shit.”  To be fair, it’s hardly even surround sound, unlike the version of Secondhand Daylight I heard, which was absolutely stunning sonically.  Just gopro quality audio in porn. So the title has one lie: HD. This is maybe 360p at best. No HD shit here. The camerawork isn’t that good either, the problem is the location of the gopro on the male. It’s strapped on the top of his head, which must be awkward for both him and dakota. Plus, you can’t see hardly any mouth stuff! The one upside is that you can do a bit more pretending-as in, you can pretend to be fucking her instead of xyz male pornstar who is either infinitely more attractive than you or somehow has more money than Hugh Hefner, because there is no way that they would get any without that. Remember, it’s one thing to be filmed while fucking, but it’s an entirely new breed of interesting situation when the fucker is the cameraman, and the camera is strapped to your forehead.

Anyway you get about a minute of exposition in this 8-minute speed rounder before things start to get heated. The plot is: Unnamed man and Dakota are presumably in some sort of relationship, and they are playing around. This leads to that and they run into the bedroom. The Nasty™ (or, if you’re a cheeky fuck, The Nice™.) ensues. So there’s a bit of kissing, rushed undressing and bushwhacking (none of which you can see thanks to the shit gopro camera placement I discussed earlier), and Dakota still has the invisible gopro on her, so you can presumably see stuff from her angle.  The only problem with that is, with the angle the guy is bushwhacking, you still can’t see what’s going on, only her body contorted upward. At about the minute twenty five, minute thirty mark, the camera on Anonymous Male’s head is adjusted so you can now see what is going on. The only problem is, you also get the tip of his nose, which just looks weird to be watching porn with a random, vagrant nose in the midst of everything. (Note: The nose, unlike Young Thug’s blunt, doesn’t look like a dick.  It’s just a nose, nothing special, it takes you out of the experience this company wants to give.)

I gave up on the “3D Audio” about 30 seconds in. However, I didn’t expect the audio to so clearly pick up the bushwhacking, which, due to this Anonymous Male’s inexperience-or lack of care-sounds like he’s slurping ramen. Very loud and uncomfortable. Thankfully, Dakota is a good porn actress and is at least pretending to enjoy the fact that her vagina has now become a rather sensitive soup bowl, featuring roast beef as its main meat. 

This slurpy durpy soup party goes on until 2:15, when we get the infamous quick fade to a blowjob (or, for the more pc crowd, a suckie duckie). It’s well established that Dakota is good at head, so she goes in on this. There’s a bit of something for everybody in the scene, but I don’t want to spoil too much so I’ll let the eager watchers do their thing.

At the 3:10 mark, we get another Q U I C K F A D E, only this time to the thing people have come for-THE NASTY™ /THE NICE™. It starts out with basic doggy, with some ass slappage. It’s nothing you haven’t seen/done, which, to some degree, also applies to Secondhand Daylight, as it sounds a lot like Rush, in their Signals and Grace Under Pressure era, with just a bit more of a punk attitude. However, doggy and Secondhand Daylight alike, they are done incredibly well.

Once you get to the 4:20 (blaze it) mark, the shot cuts to Dakota being held up by Anonymous Male whilst being thrust into by the same said anonymous male. An awkward position, and the camera is moved again, so really the entire minute or so of the scene is kind of uncomfortable as well.Now, as I don’t want to spoil the entirety of this video, I won’t get into too much further detail, but the action is better. Again, it’s like Secondhand Daylight, although there is nothing new or radically different, it does its job well, and even with its drawbacks, it’s quite a watch/listen.

Both are great fam, hit me up for links !

SABBATH ASSEMBLY – Ye Are Gods (2012)

Review by: Franco Micale
Album assigned by: Ahmed Khālid

Religious music has never really been a personal favorite of mine. A major part of that is most likely because I don’t believe in the concept of an all-loving God, so I just can’t really find much a connection to lyrics about how I can truly be righteous if I just convert my evil ways and follow the Holy Spirit. There’s also the fact that much religious music just sounds monotonous. Most often, they are only trying to engender one emotion in me, and that is to feel enlightened and overwhelmed by thou holiest. Now, with that being said, just because I don’t believe in a point a work of art is trying to bring across doesn’t mean I can’t feel affected by it. Even with my lack of faith in most organized religion, I still feel uplifted by “My Sweet Lord” or “Supper’s Ready”. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I am not a nihilist or an existentialist, but listening to Current 93’s “I Have a Very Special Plan For This World” was still an absolutely terrifying experience. This is because, naturally, many of us homo sapiens have the ability to put ourselves in other people’s shoes, and empathize with how they feel, even if we don’t see the world from their exact perspective. This is only assuming, of course, if their artist succeeds in putting their shoes on our feet.

So with that being said, let me talk about Sabbath Assembly. From what I’ve gathered, these guys are huge followers of the “Process Church of The Final Judgement”, a large religious cult that believes in both God and Satan as equal deities. I don’t know about their other work, but their beliefs are such central focuses on “Ye Are Gods” that listening to this album feels like I am attending one of their church gatherings. Because of this, I would say that this album is an essential for people who follow the Process Church, or who are at least intrigued by their ideas, because you can really feel the passion these guys have for their religion, and many of the concepts they believe in are laid out quite clearly. However, since I am not a member, I cannot feel much emotional attachment to anything on here. The album never attempts to make the religion relatable or accessible to the everyday person, so conceptually, this ends up making me feel similar to how I feel whenever my parents force me to go to church with them, alienated and distant.

So with that out of the way, let me now discuss the music on here, which most part I quite enjoy it. Even though nothing on here is extremely amazing, they all slightly stimulates my senses enough to make me feel all pleasant and chill inside. The general vibe and production on this album makes me imagine the music is being played in front of me at a gothic cathedral, with a choir and a rock band, joining in time from time. In other words, while this isn’t exactly a diverse listen in terms of musical styles, there is a lot of different moods on here.

I will now give a little blurb on each and every song.

1) Let Us Give Praise And Validation: Has a folksy melody that turns into a gothic rant. Not really much to it, but I like the first section of the song, and it works as an album opener. 6/10
2) We Come From The One: A neofolk tune that has grinding cello sounds buried deep into the background, and a mandolin plucking along the left, as well as some chimes and violins. It’s good. 7/10
3) Bless Our Lord And Master: The second best track on here. The first half of the song has a hauntingly beautiful melody that, just vaguely, reminds me of a soft tune Genesis might have penned in their prog days. Underneath the front, I can hear what sounds like a…piano with some phaser and reverb attached to it? I can’t tell, but it’s a sweet touch, giving the piece even more of a gothic vibe to it. However, what really makes the song stand out is when, suddenly, mid-way, unexpected, it suddenly rocks out hard in a very powerful, almost death metal-esque way. Yeah, this one deserves a solid 8/10
4) We Give Our Lives: This song is a lot more bluesy than the other songs, and on further inspections, a lot more minimal too, with just an acoustic guitar and a bass backing up the vocalists. I like the way the singer gives out her voice, in a very dismal, whimpering, bluesy way. 7/10
5) Exit: This is one of my least favorite on the album. Like everything else on here, it boosts a cool vibe and production, but the repetitive chorus sounds much too much like cliched religious rock for me to enjoy, oozing head to toe with cheese. Up to this point, the album had an intriguing enough vibe to narrowly avoided being classified as “corny”, but alas, it seems as though the line has been crossed with this track. I remembered digging this on my first listen, but subsequently I found myself enjoying it less and less. Sigh, a 4/10 it is.
6) Christ, You Bring The End: Just a simple acoustic song with an okay melody. 5/10
7) And The Clarion Calls: A mid-tempo song that sounds very dark, airy, and ethereal. I like the electric piano and the way the singers harmonize in the mid section, and there’s a lovely little chime melody that pops in and out. However, the song I feel goes on for way too long at 5:30. I wouldn’t have put in the false ending. 7/10
8) In the Time of the Abandon II: This song I feel tries to go for a disturbing, apocalyptic mantra ala Current 93, but doesn’t quite hit it for me. The song doesn’t go on long enough, and there is not enough going on to really suck me into its atmosphere. 4/10
9) Transcendence: A spoken word track. I don’t fucking know what to rate it. -/10
10) The Love of the Gods: The only track that I can call “really really great”. I love the joyous, uplifting melody of the song, the layering of pianos and tinkering bells, and the celebratory vibe that the piece gives off. I get the image of an entire choir singing this song at the end of church, everyone in the pews enthusiastically joining and dancing along as it finishes. Wow, what a way to end the album. 9/10

All in all, it’s not a bad album, but it’s not like the most amazing special unique exciting mind blowing ejacuation-inducing musical work ever made. Just some pleasant, melodic music you can listen to while you worship Satan with your friends. B

LOREENA MCKENNITT – A Midwinter Night’s Dream (2008)

Review by: Markus Pilskog
Album assigned by: Red Heylin

Loreena McKennitt is a name I have seen around a few times on the internet, though have never been exposed to her music, and were therefore quite surprised to see that she had sold more than 14 million records.  I initially believed that she was a new age artist in the vein of Enya, after having heard this album, she seems much closer to traditional folk music, though with a heavy leaning on the Celtic type, but with some other elements as well. My exposition to celtic folk music is not large (mostly some crossover like Mike Oldfield and Alan Stivell), though the style feels quite familiar anyway.

While this album was released in 2008, five of the songs were included in the 1995 EP “A Winter Garden: Five Songs for the Season”. Most of the songs seem to be traditional Christmas carols or songs about winter of British or Irish origin, though a few of the songs have newly composed music by McKennitt herself. Coming from a slightly different Christmas tradition, most of these carols are new for me, which is only a positive.

The album, while based on various folk genres are musically quite varied. While the opener “The Holly and the Ivy” is almost completely dominated by McKennitt’s beautiful and mournful voice, only backed by a some drony strings, it is followed up by a joyful instrumental number that seems to be made for some village dance. Songs like Noel Nouvelet and God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen reminds us were Jesus was born after all, with its Middle Eastern vibe (reminds me a bit of Sufi music, though that may be a case of limited exposure).

While the centerpiece of the music is McKennitt’s quite expressive and resonant voice, the instrumental arrangements (completely acoustic) are well done and generally fit the various styles. The harp (done by McKennitt herself) is quite prominent, though we also hear a hurdy-gurdy on “Seeds of Love” and the strings are varied between synthesizer-like coating and taking the lead and on the aforementioned “Sufi-songs”, the percussion is put more to the forefront.

While I find it difficult to talk much about the songs in particular, the album is generally enjoyable, the songs are done quite tastefully and parts of the album are downright beautiful. It helps that the songs haven’t been played to death during this December, and I probably wouldn’t have bothered listening to this outside the season, but it’s a Christmas album that I would consider playing next Christmas instead of the usual suspects others put on, and that’s really the best compliment such an album could get. 

STING – If on a Winter’s Night… (2009)

Review by: Dinar Khayrutdinov
Album assigned by: Nina A

Winter nights are serious business. That’s the one true conclusion I can make of this interesting but also kind of underwhelming record. It’s 2009, Mr. Gordon Matthew Sumner is 58, and he is too respectable now to just keep singing ‘De Do Do Do De Da Da Da’. In fact, this is as far from Sting’s Police roots as can be, and neither is this your typical winter-comfort-warm-your-bones-by-the-fire album, too. Instead it’s a deadly serious, atmospheric and even somewhat gloomy listen, with most of the tracks being covers of traditional folk songs, carols and even classical pieces by Praetorius, Purcell and Schubert with added wintry lyrics (again, those sometimes include poetry pieces by such distinguished 16th century gentlemen as Robert Southwell and John Dryden). So, yes, it’s definitely winter but winter sometime between the 16th and the 17th centuries. The imagery this music immediately evokes is that of a forlorn castle in the middle of a barren snowy landscape, with a lone minstrel mournfully strumming his harp on the balcony.
This is not an easy album to appreciate, especially with Sting often going for the sort of minimalistic ‘classical’ sound that mostly relies on his singing, and, let’s be honest, his raspy voice is not really as good as it used to be. However, this is definitely a grower, and on repeated listens I was able to enjoy at least half of the songs here, my favourite probably being ‘Cold Song’ – damn, this guy is really convincing when he sings “Let me freeze again to death”! You can almost feel your fingers getting numb from all that cold. Unbelievably uncomfortable but even more impressive for that. “Now Winter Comes Slowly” is another piece that creates similar numb mood. Thank goodness, sometimes the album breaks from that freezing feeling to throw in at least some degree of cheerfulness in the form of some nifty brass and woodwind sections (mostly sax, with some trumpets and clarinets thrown in for good measure). In general I’d say there is still enough diversity here to justify such a large quantity of songs (15 in total): ‘The Hounds Of Winter’ sounds almost like classic Sting for a change (and it is one of the few songs here actually written by himself), ‘Soul Cake’ is an interesting catchy number with some tasty violins and ‘The Burning Babe’ has the aforementioned brass section. Everything else is snowy lonely wistful winter, melancholic carols (as much of an oxymoron as that may seem) and mournful lullabies. 
This isn’t a great album, and, as I said, not too easy on the ears (at least on first listen), but it is very fitting for a very specific time and mood. Look out of your window, watch the falling snow and the gray skies, make yourself a cup of hot coffee and put this record on. And who knows, maybe it will find a way to your heart. Indeed, to everything there is a season, as one classic band taught us back in the day.

THE BEATLES – The Beatles’ Christmas Album (The Beatles Christmas Records 1963-69) (1970)

Review by: Charly Saenz
Album assigned by: Franco Micale

BEST SONG:  No idea! I’ll choose.. And this is my new Xmas song for 2016 (remind me in december):

First time I feel grateful the Beatles didn’t last longer! 

1963! Young and innocent days, right? John and his usual acid humour (“I’d like to thank everyone for my birthday gifts but I just haven’t enough pens!”). Wise bit about Paul having the audience send more adequate Beatle gifts (stop those jelly babies!). He was clever, huh? The best musical bits are John doing his deep voice and Ringo does the best King Wenceslas bit. Let the boy sing!

1964! Jingle bells intro. Guys are more professional hey!

Paul -“Don’t know where we’d be without you (the fans)”

John – “The Army, Perhaps”

Lots of mad laughter, probably drug-induced (Drugs were invented already! But Dr Robert will turn up later). Those were the days! (Mary Hopkin)

1965! Ad-Lib record. Best Yesterday, off-key version ever. 

Some banter without any script and some great John and Ringo singing. Ringo thing was Xmas record, no doubt.

More psychedelic talk. We’re entering the period (L-S-D!). They went to the dentist already, I bet. “AULD LANG SYNE” with some Vietnam and China mentions. And more Yesterday, beats Sinatra anytime!

This is an epic record, no doubt. Zappa level. Well a short record anyway. Guys, press it! Rating? Mm.. it’s a The Force Awakens in Stars Wars scale.

1966.. This one is truly weird! Don’t you love 1966? Could be the rehearsal for Tomorrow Never Knows.

Hisses here and there, they act a script? Pantomime! Old Stories told. Odd voices. And Everywhere is Xmas.

In the words of Gordon Gano when he remembered the chaos and turmoil in the Violent Femmes concerts “That was beautiful”. 4 stars and a half on this record.

1967.. Gorgeous version of “Xmas time is here again”. Bootleggers even made a song out of this, God Bless Them (Bob Dylan’s best album is no doubt “The Great White Wonder”). It’s Magical Mystery Tour quality, man. 

Their last Xmas record done together. Sad, that’s life. This one gets a heartily thumbs up!

1968 – Interesting. Remixed bits of a sped up Helter Skelter, Ob-la-di Ob-la-da. Great Xmas song from Paul (the new one, the other one is dead – “HAPPY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY NEW YEAR, ALL THE BEST TO YOU FROM HERE”.)

I would have put this in the White album instead of Revolution 9, probably. Gets a pass!

1969 – Yoko is here. Geez. John preparing corn-flakes; that would surely influence Pink Floyd and their Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast; that cunning Rog Waters boy. Paul McCartney, the doppelganger, saves the day again with a bit from his solo album sessions, probably. John sings with Yoko? At least they did “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” later, maybe they were just warming up.

Thumbs down! says my Beatle heart. Shouldn’t you quit, guys? The Xmas records I mean. But.. Oh well.

/*———–   AND IN THE END… THE LOVE YOU TAKE.. ———————*/

MY MORNING JACKET – My Morning Jacket Does Xmas Fiasco Style (2000)

Review by: Alex Alex
Album assigned by: Charly Saenz

For those from the, somehow still existing, non-Christian parts of the world, or the non-Christian inner regions of the bigger outer Christian ones, of the same fallen world again, «Christmas» is a (Christian) o-matsuri, which is the Japanese for “festival”, celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ as he was crawling out, bloody and pig-faced from the menstrual crack of the Mother Earth. Understandably, we celebrate that with music – such as with the music from the album reviewed here.

The name of the album is “My Morning Jacket Does Christmas Fiasco Style” where “fiasco”, as my girlfriend who has been to Italy twice in the last five years a whole week each time, before the oil prices have risen to the skies and everyone has become a mystic, means, or rather, presumes, an interplay of words between “a failure” and a certain type of wine bottles used wherever in hell my girlfriend was travelling before the oil prices have risen to the skies, which interplay is absolutely meaningless if one is uneducated and/or sober.

In my country we do not wear jackets, especially in the mornings, and, for the Christmas, at least, “My Morning Sock” would seem a more fitting title for a band (hinting also at the everyday job-stress-unemployment problems: for the missing sock in question is so often a thing necessary to be found rather quickly in the morning, after a well-spent metaphysical night – so that a human being can put it on and proceed to the job dressed properly – as the male socks here in the countries Christian and partially West are the same as those often-misunderstood hijabs worn by beautiful ladies of the non-Christian (and the whole) East whose (Eastern ladies) beauty is never to be seen under them, same as I do not show the nails on my foot to you without a promise or for free.

So, “My Morning Sock Does Christmas” (“fiasco style” surely was added later, in haste, to avoid a possible lawsuit from Beavis and Butthead and Co) an album from the group completely unknown in Russia is the subject of this review. It’s a “psychedelic” one, “psychedelia” being a cheaper and ethically more affordable variety of cosplay, requiring no expensive silks and linens but only a certain state of mind, easily achievable with the usual Pink Floyd Hare Krishna mantra, and not even a printed rulebook is necessary. The album is rather short and, yes, it’s a Christmas album (the last song being an instrumental reprise of the third (Christmas) one being the proof of that, same as your ID is the proof you can buy alcohol in the shop to celebrate (Christmas) – the world is round, as we still erroneously think, and they are still trying to produce fine, rounded Christmas-like things with the help of the reprises (again) and everything is Christmas and fine  – until we learn that the world is  and has always been flat, falling into the void as the elephants are marching away.


The first song is a Christmas-themed song and it features the line “We are criminals that never break the law”. It is for the same reason that they have a Nick Cave cover on the album. They could not probably pick up a shittier song from Mr Cave but, criminals as they are,  they do not choose much – just grab and run away with what happens to be the worst possible song.  It’s not a crime in this rotten capitalist system to make a remake of some filler shit (in the context of Nick Cave works the song’s only purpose was to be the last song on the album, and the robbers are fully aware of that – still it does not diminish the fact that they have covered one of the worst songs – a deed as unnatural as Christmas itself).

The second one is titled “I Just Wanted to Say” and the singer here wants to say that he “just wanted to be just a little part of your cheer” – now that’s an outright lie, he just wanted to say that he is a criminal who never breaks the law – as he has already said that in the first song, and proved that by stealing the worst possible Nick Cave masterpiece because it was the closest thing to where that criminal in his criminal psychedelic universe was celebrating his Christmas.

The third one is “Xmas Time is Here Again” – this time we have a flashback like they do in thrillers or other such action movies – the flashback in the form of “she’s so pretty but I’m so young, when I’m sixteen I’m gonna have some fun” which basically again means cosplay because the dude in question is well beyond 30 otherwise he wouldn’t have given a damn about Christmas and reprises – we are understandably worried about the girl and the so-far-postponed fun but then she’s probably one of his friends – “ahh ahh ahh ahh ahh ahh” – that’s the real lyrics on the album, that’s probably her contribution, they have creative writing classes for that.

Ah, the fourth one is stolen from Nick Cave, I don’t even want to discuss Nick Cave here. As with any stolen thing a thief tries to wear it as it belongs to him so very specific (to say the least) intonations of Mr Cave’s singing are imitated with care – which act alone, presumably, adds the meaning to that, otherwise completely meaningless, theft.

“Santa Claus is Back in Town” is another cover, an Elvis Presley song. The idea here is if you cover a Presley song you automatically get classified so fuck me Santa Claus on the outskirts of the town if I review that song here at all.

And the last one “Xmas Time is Here Again” an instrumental version of the one under the same name, before. The idea here is that only cultured people can think of an instrumental version of a song, savages do not distinct between singing, playing, dancing, Christmas and My Morning Jacket.

Savages you are and savage your album is. Such a comic album shattering the Christmas symbols, an album on which they are not afraid to acknowledge them being criminals and only being afraid of capitalism, shattering Santa Claus who is Elvis, stealing worst song from a schizophrenic guy, making instrumental reprises of its own shit – shattering, shattering everything but what ends when the Christmas shatters?