Je n'aime pas dans les vieux films américains quand les conducteurs ne regardent pas la route. Et de ratage en ratage, on s'habitue à ne jamais dépasser le stade du brouillon. La vie n'est que l'interminable répétition d'une représentation qui n'aura jamais lieu.

Yuletunes (1991) - Various Artists

You don’t have to say you love me

I know that’s not true

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas will do

Yuletunes is a compilation put out by Black Vinyl records (on CD, not vinyl) and it’s never been released digitally that I know of.  It’s a kind of indie-styled Christmas record and it’s not particularly good.  You’ve probably heard of none of the artists; the only one I’d heard of before I picked up this record was Matthew Sweet and, I mean, when the most famous guy on your record is Matthew Sweet, you’ve got a pretty obscure record.  There are a few standout songs.  Material Issue’s Merry Christmas Will Do is a nice pop-punk tune with a Ramonesy vibe.  Matthew Sweet’s Baby Jesus is strange, but compellingly so.  Herb Eimerman delivers a nice pop ballad called You Gave Me which is a real rarity: a song about how awesome your parents were.  Even in Christmas songs, the singers are usually lamenting their terrible parents, but You Gave Me is genuinely epic and quite moving.  Best of all is Spooner’s The Saddest Time of Year, a melancholy ballad that’s perfectly performed.  The rest of the songs tend to end up below average; there’s a reason we haven’t heard of some of these people before.  They tend to fall into the classic Christmas song ruts. There is one track that really goes for something different: Cavedogs’ Three Wisemen & a Baby, which is a sort of sound collage with musical quotations, clips from Christmas movies, etc.  It’s got a real Revolution No. 9 feel to it and, of course, I hate Revolution No. 9 so I think it’s the worst song on the album; but kudos for trying to do something different.  Anyway, I kind of wish the good songs on this album were available elsewhere, but apparently even the Matthew Sweet track hasn’t been released on any other compilation.  Some great songs, but the album as a whole doesn’t add up to much of anything.  1 ½ stars.

tl;dr – indie Christmas comp features a load of very obscure artist and only a couple of really great tunes; mostly mediocre as a lot of these albums are.  1 ½ stars. 

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