17 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Those over the age of 30 may remember a time when hip holiday compilations came with Keith Haring artwork gracing the covers, à la A Very Special Christmas. The 2012 compilation Holidays Rule is a modern take on the concept, starting with Fun. The band's cover of “Sleigh Ride,” dappled with dance beats, is a festive departure from its multi-vocal layered “world indie” sound. But the party really gets started with The Shins doing a Beach Boys–flavored rendition of Sir Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime.” McCartney also turns up here, singing a take on “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” that begs to be listened to by the fireplace, eggnog in hand. Rufus Wainwright gets all kinds of loungy with the smoky-voiced Sharon Van Etten in “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Calexico’s “Green Grows the Holly” emits a rootsy Christmas gloom before Holly Golightly’s “That’s What I Want for Christmas” recalls the time in the early '90s when kitschy cocktail music was all the rage and Juan García Esquivel was discussed with the same reverence as The Beatles.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Those over the age of 30 may remember a time when hip holiday compilations came with Keith Haring artwork gracing the covers, à la A Very Special Christmas. The 2012 compilation Holidays Rule is a modern take on the concept, starting with Fun. The band's cover of “Sleigh Ride,” dappled with dance beats, is a festive departure from its multi-vocal layered “world indie” sound. But the party really gets started with The Shins doing a Beach Boys–flavored rendition of Sir Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime.” McCartney also turns up here, singing a take on “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” that begs to be listened to by the fireplace, eggnog in hand. Rufus Wainwright gets all kinds of loungy with the smoky-voiced Sharon Van Etten in “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Calexico’s “Green Grows the Holly” emits a rootsy Christmas gloom before Holly Golightly’s “That’s What I Want for Christmas” recalls the time in the early '90s when kitschy cocktail music was all the rage and Juan García Esquivel was discussed with the same reverence as The Beatles.

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Ratings and Reviews

3.6 out of 5

175 Ratings

175 Ratings

The SHINS

endo X

Not sure what I thought about The Shins partaking in a Christmas album, but they definitely--as usual--hit the nail on the head. I have a man crush on James Mercer. Not certain about the rest of the album. But mostly b/c I keep listening to The Shins' version of Wonderful Christmastime.

This made my life.

allie628374

This is fantastic and Chritmas is two months away but I have gotten everything I never knew I wanted. Honestly, everything on this album is fantastic. However, fun.'s Sleigh Ride totally makes it worth buying the whole album. If you can only get one song (for whatever reason) Andrew Bird does a miraculous Auld Lang Syne. I have never been happier with anything in my life. I might die of happiness.

Shins and Paul

Snowmanpants

Thumbs up to man-crushes on James Mercer. Paul McCartney's rendition of The Christmas Song is beautiful. What would you expect?

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