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Christmas Rules

4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Nov. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B009GWHSW6
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,257 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Christmas Rules is a collection of new recordings of Yuletide classics from artists including Paul McCartney, Rufus Wainwright, Diana Krall and The Shins.

BBC Review

For some people, Christmas isn’t complete without Noddy Holder yelling, “It’s CHRISTMAS!” at the top of his voice. For other people, even just a glimpse of the Slade frontman’s massive top hat and bushy sideburns is enough to trigger a thick depression.

If you fall into the second camp, and yearn for some fresh, sophisticated festive music, this Christmas compilation may be for you. Boasting some big names – The Shins, Rufus Wainwright, Paul McCartney – Christmas Rules is an impressive collection of yuletide classics, reworked by artists from a variety of backgrounds. The result blends together indie, country, blues, folk and gospel, and is as warm and comforting as a goblet of mulled wine.

The tone is pleasingly laidback and, unlike so many Christmas albums, not at all cheesy or twee – well, apart from fun.’s synth version of Sleigh Ride, but that’s over in a flash. McCartney’s rendition of The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire), on which he teams up with Diana Krall, is reined in and reverent. Likewise, Calexico’s Green Grows the Holly and Punch Brothers’ O Come, O Come, Emmanuel are delicately observed and almost worshipful in mood, channelling the true spirit of Christmas.

Elsewhere, Irma Thomas and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band bring a glorious blast of brass into the mix on May Ev’ry Day Be Christmas; Holly Golightly gets all sultry on That’s What I Want for Christmas, as Wurlitzers and organs drone around her; and Y La Bamba’s Spanish take on Mister Santa – yes, it’s called Señor Santa – is a whimsical little fiesta of acoustic guitars, woodwind and xylophone.

There are also turns from The Civil Wars, Eleanor Friedberger and Andrew Bird, and Wainwright is joined by indie-songstress-of-the-moment Sharon Van Etten on a woozy version of Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

The four producers behind this project – Sara Matarazzo, Chris Funk, Randall Poster and Nancy Jeffries – deserve a pat on the back for making a cohesive Christmas album that slots together neatly and is a genuine joy to listen to. Well, for a couple of weeks at least.

--Mike Haydock

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 28 Nov. 2012
Format: Audio CD
Note that this is the re-titled UK edition of the American release Holidays Rule. If you have that, you won't need this as the track listing is identical. I would have bought the CD anyway, even if the UK release had retained the American title. It's the quality of the music that's important, not the title.

All the tracks were recorded specifically for this album, though at least some of the songs and some of the artists will be familiar to you. I think all the songs are covers; certainly most are, but I'm not sure about a couple of them. As for the artists, there are several who I don't recognize.

The artists I recognize from my CD collection are Rufus Wainwright (although his only previous appearance in my CD collection is via his contribution to The McGarrigle Christmas hour; he is, of course, a son of one of the McGarrigle sisters), Paul McCartney (who wrote one song here but performs a different song). Chris Thile (here as a member of the Punch brothers; he is in my CD collection as a member of Nickel Creek) and Irma Thomas (who recorded some brilliant soul music in the sixties; good to see that she is still active and in fine form). I'm sure I've heard of Holly Golightly somewhere, but I'll confess to total ignorance about the rest. Still, the music is of a high quality as I expected they would be, based on Macca's participation.

Macca's voice sounds better than one might expect of a man his age on a fine rendition of The Christmas song. Meanwhile, the Shins contribute a decent version of Macca's Wonderful Christmastime, although I still prefer the original.
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With not your average line up. A collection of acts that veers from The Shins through to Paul McCartney. Once you are past Fun's synth heavy take on Sleighride the sounds are pretty cohesive too, and uniformly enjoyable.
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excellent compilation of xmas tunes, some familiar, some not, but all done with a fresh modern slant - great as part of a playlist on shuffle.
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Desperate for a Christmas Album that isn't full of all the usual suspects, but still sounds like a real Christmas Album? Then here it is...
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Great collection of new versions of old classics and new Christmas songs. Some absolute classics. Highlights are the Paul McCartney song and Senior Santa
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Pleased I bought it, and I wanted something different to the normal. However I wasn't overly keen on a couple of the tracks
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