Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Smithereens "Christmas With The Smithereens"


Some goodies to enjoy that you may not have.

Christmas with the Smithereens features three original tunes, and as rock & roll Christmas albums go, this is good fun and admirably eclectic. The Smithereens are pretty broad-minded when it comes to what constitutes a Yuletide melody, given the presence of "Christmas," a not especially seasonal tune from the Who's Tommy, and they dig up the Beatles rarity "Christmas Time Is Here Again," as well as cutting a version of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" that's a dead ringer for the Fab Four.

Seasonal numbers from the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, and the Ramones also make the set list, and you get a snappy spoken word rendition of "The Night Before Christmas" as well as some rollicking proto-surf boogie on "Auld Lang Syne." The big surprise here is that Pat DiNizio shares the vocal mic with his bandmates for a change, and if guitarist Jim Babjak and drummer Dennis Diken aren't quite up to DiNizio's standard as a singer, they fit their selections better than DiNizio's often-gloomy tone.

Fans waiting for a "real" Smithereens album will apparently have to wait a bit longer, but Christmas with the Smithereens is more thoughtful and intriguing than the average tossed-together holiday offering, and the best moments are a clear reminder of what makes this band worthwhile.

01 - Waking Up On Christmas Morning 02 - Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me) 03 - Merry Christmas, Baby 04 - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree 05 - Christmas Time All Over The World 06 - Christmas 07 - 'Twas The Night Before Christmas 08 - Run Rudolph Run 09 - Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight) 10 - Christmas (I Remember) 11 - Auld Lang Syne
12 - Christmas Time Is Here Again


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