Our Christmas Monkees

The Monkees, Christmas Party – The new Monkees record is a collection of Christmas songs, some old and some new. I like Christmas music (as well as winter music that gets lumped in with it because no one wants to hear that stuff in January); when done well it’s very comforting. I wouldn’t want to listen to nothing BUT that for a month, but my general feelings are positive. With this album, there are contributions from all of the Monkees, including the late Davy Jones. Some of the same songwriters from Good Times! make contributions here as well. “Unwrap You at Christmas” is pretty typical of Andy Partridge, both in sound and cheekiness. “What Would Santa Do,” by Rivers Cuomo, lashes back at anti-holiday attitudes. The surreal “The House of Broken Gingerbread” was co-written by Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne and novelist Michael Chabon. The rock number “Christmas Party” was written by Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck, who of course have worked together in the Minus 5, and I had mentioned earlier that I thought Scott should write a Monkees song. “Jesus Christ” is a cover of an Alex Chilton song, and I really know nothing about him other than that the theme from That 70s Show was one of his, and Camper Van Beethoven has an instrumental called “A.C. Cover” after him (even though it actually isn’t a cover; it apparently references someone who kept insisting it was a Chilton song). It’s a pretty good song, and more overtly religious than most of what’s on here. There’s also a cover of Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime,” which I think I might like a little more than the original, as it lacks that recurring synthesizer “bwaaap.” Is this the first Monkees release to include a song by a Beatle? “Mele Kalikimaka” and “Silver Bells” takes the vocals from old Davy Jones solo demos and add new music. The former includes a verse that isn’t in the Bing Crosby version. Mike Nesmith contributes covers of “The Christmas Song” and “Snowfall,” the latter of which I can’t say I knew. Peter Tork’s only contribution is a banjo-led version of “Angels We Have Heard on High.” The version from Target, which Beth bought, has two bonus tracks as well, one of them being “Riu Chiu,” a Spanish song that the Monkees performed on the show back in 1967. Overall, it’s definitely pretty fun.

This entry was posted in Albums, Christmas, Holidays, Minus 5, Monkees, Music, XTC and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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