I like Sarah McLachlan, and I LOVE her voice. There, I’ve said it.
Two other facts you may not know: 1. I’m not gay. 2. Sarah isn’t either.
And it’s taken some time to come clean with this… but yes, I’ve been to a Barenaked Ladies show too. It was almost 10 years ago, and I went kicking and screaming with a girlfriend at the time in Palo Alto, CA. But you know what, they were damn entertaining. Complete with crowd chemistry, stage presence, and some fun rock.
That all being said. I’ve come across some Christmas albums from the before named artists. Sarah McLachlan’s long awaited recent release of WINTERSONG. And the Barenaked Ladies (now a few years old) album, BARENAKED for the HOLIDAYS.
Bare Naked Ladies – Jingle Bells
BNL’s holiday album is more traditional in the sense it has lots of classics — but not as many as would think with a 20 song line-up. After starting strong with “Jingle Bells” and “Green Christmas”, they continue to roll into some “Hanukkah Blessings”, “O Holy Night”, and “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah” as well.
Bare Naked Ladies – O Holy Night
Bare Naked Ladies – Do They Know It’s Christmas
This album includes seven orginal tracks! And as expected, the BNL’s tackle all the hits, and not-so-xmas hits, with their usual wit and tongue-in-cheek humor. And since she is the next topic, I’ll point out that Sarah McLachlan joins the wild bunch on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”
Bare Naked Ladies (feat. Sarah McLachlan – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings
Now if you are a Sarah fanatic, you won’t be disappointed in this album. I’m usually very disappointed in Xmas/Holiday album attempts by most artists, but not in this case. This album works because it doesn’t feel like an upbeat ‘joy to the world’ type of work. It stays true to Sarah’s strengths — her voice, and bittersweet melodies that show a moody feeling of an almost overcast Christmas. Listen to Sarah’s original title track, “Wintersong” — and you might swear you were listening to something removed from one of her first two albums (maybe, SOLACE).
Sarah McLachlan – Wintersong
Producer Pierre Marchand has thrown Sarah back into the soft light of her early albums of pure heart, with slightly less emotion. They have teamed up to create a Christmas album that stands up on it’s own merits and musical talent. But you still find some classics not so removed from the orginals… just given Sarah’s vocal beauty. Such is the case on the opening song, John Lennon’s and Yoko Ono’s masterpiece.
Sarah McLachlan – Happy Xmas (War is Over)
But WINTERSONG is an album that can certainly be enjoyed by many on a cold Christmas or EVEning next to a warm fire, while sipping on something hot (or next to anything that keeps you warm). I leave you with my personal downloadable holiday gift to you — Sarah’s version of Joni Mitchell’s song, “River.” Happy Holidays, our fellow Alternakids.
Sarah McLachlan – River