The message-laden pontification of “It’s Almost Christmas” by Neil Werden is betrayed by the fluffy folk timpani and fun of the delivery. Wee hah, knee slapped! He feels bad! Haha haha ha.
Leave it to those wacky Canadians to open my eyes to the real meaning of irony. “Christmas is Almost Here” is a schoolyard chant by Arrogant Worms, wherein the agony and screaming is offset by the fancy fiddling and increasing tempo. A whirling dervish of delightful suffering.
Diederick Van Eck strums a cowboy guitar for “Almost Christmas,” but his sauntering through the kids’ happy cries really brings down the joy. (He even says, ‘Hey, don’t shout.’) Quite matter of fact, but not in a hip way.
Strumming out some Devo-folk Black Cherry monotones “Christmas is Almost Here” so you’ll have to dig the meaning out of this druidic chant yourself.
Living room becomes coffee house for Cassidy Brennan, whose folk musings play low key in her “Almost Christmas.” Pretty vocals. Woeful tone.
Almost amateurishly recorded, Johnny Bennett layers in some blues lament with the folk to dampen the dark “Christmas Time is Almost Here.” Dread it.
The Automatics get more pop lively with “It’s Almost Christmas Day.” But the punk overtones and interweaving imagery make me lose the traditional wonder and stare at my navel. Good, if inappropriate.
Sometimes a hidden agenda, an urgent message worms its way into the excitement of Christmas’s border.
Entaune play it straight with a soaring, spiritual celebration of the bric-a-brac of the holiday’s imminence. Then: help the homeless! Outta nowhere! Bait and switch! “Almost Christmas Eve” survives its pop platitudes nonetheless.
Frearson pulls a 90 degree turn within “I Can’t Believe It’s Nearly Christmas” to admit failure at dieting, family planning, ambition, and general self actualization. Dude, take a breath. Slow pop. Mad fun.
The closer Christmas gets, the further happiness happens. For some, the overshadowing omnipresence is a ruddy reminder of regret. Bummer.
The Twang slow rock a drinking song “On the 24th.” He loves her, he’s trying to forget her, there’s the tavern…. (I need a hug.)
Carla Hartsfield gets metaphorical with skates and wings and dogs but her “Almost Christmas” is despondent impatience waiting for him. Tinkly woman folk. Maybe my y-chromosome excludes my appreciation….
Droesem garage symphonies about the aftermath of domestic conflict. “Almost Christmas Time” sounds bleak as it is. I don’t think he’s going to make it….
I honestly shouldn’t pop this can of worms, but i have a special circle of halo reserved for the truly awful. Whether intentionally wisecracking or unenlightened and untalented, bad singers give me pause–like that first sip of seasonal nog. You shouldn’t like it….
Having consumed too much Fred Figglehorn, Mr. Crainer hyper-raps imbecilically “Merry Almost Christmas.” It’s all in fun. Are you having fun?
I pair that with the intentional atonal chaos from BERU “Almost Christmas.” Garage punk thinks it can do whatever it wants, because–I guess–that’s what defines it.
On the other stump, the amateur Sweet Sisters are just kids corralled into a synth-storm of recording “It’s Nearly Christmas.” Keep this for THEIR grandkids to hear later. I mean keep it, don’t share it.
Dai [day] is a rambling randomizer, but he’s no rambler. “Almost Christmas” might tempt you into the it’s-so-bad-it’s-good territory. Recalibrate.
A song can show promise yet be marred by technical cruddiness. Veghalen posts a family Christmas song “Christmas is Coming” with wit and warmth. But the sudden religious pitch near the end makes this messier than it oughterbe.
Are you clued-in to check the beat? These swingin’ verses are straight from the ‘fridge, daddy-o. And they also pertain to the neighborhood of Christmastide.
If you try too hard, swingin’ cool gets loud and loungey and–gasp–showtune-like. Hence David Tobin’s “Almost Time for Christmas Day.” He’s one Hep C cat.
Marrying gospel and John Prine, John Field is his own man with “Nearly Christmas.” A bit loud, but my head’s a-noddin’.
Billie and The Haint plug in garage nonchalance with “Almost Christmas.” It’s a beatnik banger, a hippie howler, a millennial meltdown.
Actual big band swing is still a genre of historical note, so let’s apply ourselves to the sweet girl gang The Morning Report in their “Christmas is Just Around the Corner.” Wartime was warm times way back then.
A jugband ragtime lassez-faire meandering, “It’s Almost Christmas” ups the ante of local in-the-know dead on time. Hats off (then back on, ‘cuz its Chicago winter!)!
Leaning into the curves (wait for it…) Joe Escobar sets up and eases into “Christmas Time’s Around the Corner” with such panache he didn’t even spill his martini. Smooth (except for that unnecessary brass.)
Piano jazz bar and a nod to Frank make Tom Deger & DarkHorse a nose ahead with their “It’s Almost Christmas Time.” Playful country electric and a drugged-out swirling helps.