Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas In Glam ...

A friend of mine gave me "Monster Ballads Xmas" which honestly I don't think I would have bought so it all works out. However, it actually is a surprisingly eclectic collection of Christmas tunes. Some covers, some original but all around a decent album that was not quite what I was expecting.

The album kicks off with Skid Row's punky take on "Jingle Bells" which is raw and fun (but it ain't no death metal gem from Korn). It gets the album moving fast. Danger Danger offer up "Naughty, Naughty Christmas" which is a straight rock song and what I expected as is Jani Lane's glammy hard rock cover of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". It starts off slower and gets fun and peppy in a Warrant way.

Styper's live recording of "Winter Wonderland" is a solid rock song faithful to the melody whilst adding some touches of blues. LA Guns add a bluesy rock touch to "Run Rudolph Run" and Firehouse brings out the grit on the rock n roll classic "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree". But its Tom Keifer's "Blue Christmas" that reminds us of why Cinderella were masters of Blues rock. It has some nice solo work and Tom's voice is smoother than the rough screech I remember.

Nelson's glammed up "Jingle Bell Rock" is a faithful cover, but the production seems weak and the cymbals get on my nerves and . However, Enuff Z'Nuff's pc ditty "Happy Holidays" is surprisingly catchy. It's a slower rocker, but has some nice hooks. Billy Idols "Christmas Love" is a acoustic folk-like tune with a 60's sound and closes the album off.

The stand out tracks are Queensryche' "White Christmas" is very much what I'd expect from this band from Geoff Tate's soaring vocals to the airy electric guitars adding some nice solos and atmosphere to the crisp acoustic picking. A wonderful version that does lose the songs sentimentality. On the other hand Faster Pussycat's "Silent Night" is almost unrecognizable as a gothic tinged industrial tune. A very cool and funky cover, but not quite the sleazy rock sound I remember them as.

My favourite I'd say is Dokken's heavy cruncher cover "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town". It is a slower mid-paced metal song that adds just enough dark tones to make one wary of this red-suited stranger coming into our homes. A great version.

All around this isn't too bad, but I find I like certain songs as opposed to sitting through the whole album. Though it is a good start in the right direction for more hard rock/heavy metal Christmas albums.

Up next is a re-posting of my favourite Christmas album and it has yet to be dethroned.


Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I had fun with this one too; I really dug Dee Snider and Lita together and I think I agreed with the majority of your comments on it...certainly a lot more fun than I expected when it came in the mail

5:58 PM  

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