A Christmas Curmudgeon Takes on Glee
Why would someone who cringes at the mention of Christmas music voluntarily listen to Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album? Could it be a great love of Glee, the television show? Not exactly.
The rumor that I dislike Christmas music has a strong foundation; I started it. But it’s not all Christmas music that offends this grinch’s heart, it’s the so-so (same old-same old) stuff that’s we’ve had slammed over our heads and shoved down our throats for so long (how’s that for a jolly holiday image?).
Oh Christmas time, oh Christmas time, thy songs are so unchanging… I may not be looking for someone to rap the ever-reverential “Silent Night” (strike that; maybe I am), or have dogs bark out “Jingle Bells” (oh, right, that’s been done), but if groups and artists continue to cover these chestnuts (roasting on an open fire—I only wish), the least they can do is bring something new to their rendition.
When it comes to holiday tunes, my heart may be filled with unwashed socks, but the sheer energy invested by the cast of Glee might just turn them into Christmas stockings. There are some great inclusions—“Last Christmas,” “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” and (of course) “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”—and the Glee cast makes them their own.
I dreaded hearing “Jingle Bells,” “O Christmas Tree,” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” yet again, but “Jingle Bells” swings like Sinatra. “We Need a Little Christmas” is produced to sound exactly like what it is—a show tune (Mame), and that’s a very good thing. The entire album is not only bearable, but enjoyable.
While the songs may be familiar, the delivery is the aural version of having one's stocking stuffed. Just don’t try to sing along with the lovely “O Holy Night.” It receives the respectfully dramatic performance it has always deserved.
Bottom Line: Would I buy Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album? Yes, I’d even listen to it more than once or twice. Oh…and for the record—I’ve never seen Glee.