12 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Perhaps feeling the world was lacking a Christmas album up to his standards, Nick Lowe—now often in crooner mode—intelligently programmed an album of lesser-known classic Christmas tunes and newly minted originals, all played with authority by a genuine old-school rock ’n’ roller. The traditional “Children Go Where I Send Thee” snaps to a rockabilly beat. Boudleaux Bryant’s “Christmas Can’t Be Far Away” swoons with the sweet, mannered pulse of Lowe’s recent albums (At My Age and The Old Magic). Ron Sexsmith’s “Hooves on the Roof” continues to bring deserved attention to a songwriter’s songwriter who writes in a jazzier mode here. Lowe himself writes a deserved classic with “Christmas at the Airport,” where with a vibrant beat and festive organ he tells of snow that's doomed his holiday. Roger Miller’s “Old Toy Trains” brings out Lowe the ballad crooner, with Lowe using every scratch in his throat for top emotional pathos. Roller-rink organ gives an extra skip to the step of “The North Pole Express.” A touch of country-rockabilly informs “Rise Up Shepherd.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Perhaps feeling the world was lacking a Christmas album up to his standards, Nick Lowe—now often in crooner mode—intelligently programmed an album of lesser-known classic Christmas tunes and newly minted originals, all played with authority by a genuine old-school rock ’n’ roller. The traditional “Children Go Where I Send Thee” snaps to a rockabilly beat. Boudleaux Bryant’s “Christmas Can’t Be Far Away” swoons with the sweet, mannered pulse of Lowe’s recent albums (At My Age and The Old Magic). Ron Sexsmith’s “Hooves on the Roof” continues to bring deserved attention to a songwriter’s songwriter who writes in a jazzier mode here. Lowe himself writes a deserved classic with “Christmas at the Airport,” where with a vibrant beat and festive organ he tells of snow that's doomed his holiday. Roger Miller’s “Old Toy Trains” brings out Lowe the ballad crooner, with Lowe using every scratch in his throat for top emotional pathos. Roller-rink organ gives an extra skip to the step of “The North Pole Express.” A touch of country-rockabilly informs “Rise Up Shepherd.”

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