Artist: Various Artists Title: Christmas Calling Year Of Release: 2003 Label: Epic [EK 90736] Genre: Adult Alternative, Pop Rock, Holiday, Christmas Quality: FLACs (tracks +.cue,log) Total Time: 31:03 min Total Size: 187 mb
Yet another alternative rock Christmas collection, Christmas Calling begins with Travis' rather un-Christmassy "River," which begins with a "Jingle Bells"-like piano intro (in a minor key, natch) and then turns into a regular Travis song with a few mentions of cutting down Christmas trees. After that lump of coal, the rest of the album improves a bit with Macy Gray's upbeat "What I Want for Christmas" and, believe it or not, Fiona Apple's "Frosty the Snowman." Putting aside the angst that colors most of her music, Apple turns in a charming and downright lighthearted version of the Christmas classic that puts most of the other material on the album to shame. Tenacious D and Sum 41's blatantly gift-grubbing "Things I Want" is also a keeper; even if the beginning of the track sounds suspiciously like "The Hell Song," it's hard to resist lyrics like "I want a time machine and a BB gun." Still, the intentional silliness of Tenacious D and Sum 41 is no match for the (probably) unintentional silliness of Fuel's version of "We Three Kings," which turns the carol into the Queensrÿche-like metal power ballad the song has always secretly wanted to be. Likewise, Phantom Planet's version of "Carol of the Bells" gets downright proggy, although the band was probably in on the joke. Kaki King's "O Holy Night" is quiet, genuine, sweet, and out of keeping with almost all of the other songs on Christmas Calling. At least Keb' Mo''s "We Call It Christmas" has its heart in the right place, even if it also sounds out of place on this album; this song and the Thorns' pretty version of "Silent Night" bring the collection to a more or less happy ending. However, Christmas Calling can't decide whether to celebrate the holiday or make fun of it. There are enough good tracks here for Christmas mavens or fans of the bands involved in this project to consider buying it, but there are far better alternative rock Christmas albums out there.
01 - Travis - River 02 - Macy Gray - What I Want for Christmas 03 - Fiona Apple - Frosty the Snowman 04 - Tenacious D with Sum 41 - Things I Want 05 - Fuel - We Three Kings 06 - Phantom Planet - Carol of the Bells 07 - Kaki King - O Holy Night 08 - Shannon Curfman - Please Come Home for Christmas 09 - Keb' Mo' - We Call It Christmas 10 - The Thorns - Silent Night