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What’s worse? Insincere pop. That’ll work for anticipatory itching for Christmas to come!

Lala Deaton’s an obvious talent, but the uptempo jazz piano bar swing from the ’70s does her no favors. “Holiday Rush” is well meant, but gives me a TV headache.

King o’ cheese Barry Manilow flounces his way through “Christmas is Just Around the Corner.” It’s not so much effortless genius as phoned-in scmaltz.

It’s Almost Christmas” is the bouncy froth that kids of all ages pretend they are too good for. Infectious, but not that good. Justin LeBreck, Kimberly Woycke, and James Marquis swish and boom like Christmas is fun or something.

Let’s pump it up to the funky rap-pop of Holiday Boiz. “Christmas is Almost Here” is peppy fun, not what funk or rap should be at all. Eyebrow raising.

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Some pop music seems so manufactured it’s as if a corporation strung cliches Mad Libs style over a tuneless beat. Easy listening. Middle of the road. Flavorless, but for some attempting.

David Meece is slinging the sounds of “Almost Christmas Time” as loudly as his vocal coach will let him. My ears are empty, though, and ringing.

Kidsong tends to pander in such an unwholesome way i believe only real squares can dig it. “I’m Almost Ready for Christmas” from Kidzone has such apple-cheeked gusto i’m tempted to adore it ironically. But, no.

Rob Hegel and Nataly Lola put the Bacharach in country music (not a good smashup) with “It’s Almost Christmas.” Is this about anything but mood?

Well, we need something good, so let’s put on some comedy. Sunfacer Productions fools around but gets to a folky rock over synthesized laffer “It’ll be Christmas Soon.” That’s how you sell mediocrity! (With an angry message sugar-coated with wispy woo-oohs.) Yea.

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There’s a languorous slow pop that plays lugubriously for emoting, not dancing. I don’t know (nor want to know) its peculiar genre, though sometimes i be digging on it.

Primordial Penguins slowly build to a plod their “Christmas is Just Around the Corner.” You could march into a graduation ceremony to this thing.

John Oriettas get reverb retro with “It’s Almost Christmas Time.” Lots of ahh-ahh background to get you in the (??) mood. I’m (????) there.

Ron Lehner schools them all. His not-exactly-folk, not-quite-blues wistful “It’s Almost Christmas” quietly hollers the need for joy. Not the joy itself. That’s telling them.

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Pop pop jittery pop, Pops. Popular music is what the market will bear, but it usually needs to be loud, repetitive, and nothing much challenging.

Folk Angel lays down a successful backbeat, but harmonizes angrily rather than angelically with “It’s Almost Christmas Time.” A pop of 2.0. (Out of 10.)

Almost Christmas Eve” is the commercial jingle from In a World Music. It’s hyper and breathless. Then it’s over.

Driving the beat way hard, the cast of ‘CAKE’ la-lalala-lalas “Here Comes Christmas” in your face. It does what pop songs do well enough. (Annoys?)

Josh Wilson gets back to the sanitized syncopation of true pop with “Almost Christmas.” And yet, the strutting swagger has a little sumpin extra….

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‘Almost Christmas’ is more than a time, it’s a state of mind. Or so the following songs would dare you to suppose.

Vince Martin and Dawn Turlington bosso the nova out of “Almost Christmas,” an easy listening jazz pop pooper i’d expect to be the waltz music selection at the old folks’ home.

.38 Special admits that they’ve been waiting all year long for the night before. Their southern rock party anthem “A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night” does what it sets out to do, and its bad-boy enthusiasm for elves, reindeer, and coming down the chimney turns this standard rock into novelty music. Thanks, boys.

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I gravitate toward honest folk music, the casual ballad of the working man. When it’s HONEST, mind ye. Agendas are fine, but selling out isn’t.

So i’ve a bone to pick with Terry Welton’s “When It’s Nearly Christmas.” The Roger Whittaker prettiness of his breathy reaching and tinkly tunesmithery don’t back me up, much. But the giddiness for the holidays is suddenly communion with Christ–snuck that in, o you proselytizer of nuance.

Jack Terrell Clift, with a corrido approach, tells a tale of nativity with his folk epic “It Being Nearly Christmas Time.” This is an E-ticket ride that lifts and separates. Might be a bit tearful here.

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Care to throw whatever you call Country-Western at the subject?

Square dance calling to a rhythm machine should turn me on, but “It’s Almost Christmas” by Harold Rippy is mesmerizing in a traumatic way. It’s almost 1970 cop drama TV series theme music.

Mike Aiken gets much more drawly and vapid for his “Almost Christmas.” A shopping list of cliches, a singsong guitar tune… done.

More guitar virtuosity from Harold Morton heralds a better vocal arrangement in “Christmas is Nearly Here.” Again, details–no picture. But that may be the most we can hope for from this industry.

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Sometimes i just close my eyes and roll with the banging. Lyrics? Message? Let’s garage rock the topic.

Carton nicely crashes their band instruments into each other with “It’s Always Almost Christmas.” It’s a 9 for noise, but a 7 for song.

I’ll cheat and say ANY genre of music can be garage if the recording quality is poor, the enthusiasm is high, and the music is iffy. Try out The Gorgons’ bluesy “I Think It’s Almost Christmas.” Is it punk? Is it rock? Who cares, it reeks just right.

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Then there’s just bumming out… because–Christmas!

Club rock by The Nigh is starting to get the party started, but the dirge-like ‘tude unplugs my tree and steps on my dog. “It’s Nearly Christmas” is nearly angry.

Three Day Threshold & Summer Villains reveal that “Almost Christmas Time” is time to cry. Missing you outweighs all the presents, baby. Despite someone else. Swinging folk outlined in garage.

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Sometimes what we look forward to when Christmas is round the corner is the companionship and reunion of loved ones. Well, for those who can stand other people (cheers to ya).

Carly Simon draws out Livingston Taylor‘s “Christmas is Almost Here” as an easy-listening tribute to commonplacities. Finding a partner for the dance? Is this Prairie Home Companion?

New Nashville Revue’s “Almost Christmas” is honky tonk pop swing about being alone and jealously side-eyeing other lovers. Downer topic, downer genre mashup.

Unplugged, singular, plaintive folk/pop makes much more emotional impact, so take it away MYMP with “Soon It’s Christmas.” Heartstrings strummed. (Carol Banawa does this breathily and sexily; half a point off.)

Laying the blues on a piano bar smarm, Marc Broussard is begging for home with his sorrowful “Almost Christmas.” Lighters out!