Holidays Rule

Holidays Rule


Collections of holiday music are a lot like the holiday season itself: not without some magic, but after a few of them you kind of know what you're in for. While that may sound like a cynical assessment, it's not meant to be. Holiday music, Christmas songs in particular, become pervasively ubiquitous, with countless renditions of ageless seasonal tunes showing up…  See more details below


Collections of holiday music are a lot like the holiday season itself: not without some magic, but after a few of them you kind of know what you're in for. While that may sound like a cynical assessment, it's not meant to be. Holiday music, Christmas songs in particular, become pervasively ubiquitous, with countless renditions of ageless seasonal tunes showing up every year some weeks before Thanksgiving and sticking around until the year changes. Holidays Rule attempts to shake up the standard holiday listening with a cross section of artists ranging from ragtag indie acts to legitimate pop icons having a go at time-honored Christmas classics and wintry holiday songs. The collection features contributions from 17 diverse acts, and at its best, the material succeeds in offering an exciting perspective on songs we've all heard in every shopping center and dentist office around the holidays since what feels like the beginning of time. Fun. open the set with a slickly produced pop-friendly version of "Sleigh Ride." The pristine arrangement and enormous drums drive the song and turn an often benign tune into something actually pretty exciting. Likewise the Shins' take on Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" does not disappoint, re-envisioning the song in a overt homage to Brian Wilson's saturated Pet Sounds-era productions. McCartney himself shows up a few tracks later with a sweet and standard reading of "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire." Eleanor Friedberger from Fiery Furnaces offers the weirdest selection with "Santa, Bring My Baby Back to Me." The song begins in a regular faux jazz-pop style, breaking down into an overly long section of hypnotic dubbed-out chanting and marimba vamping. More than once on Holidays Rule, bands turn in dire, almost depressive renditions of public domain songs. Calexico's melodramatic over-orchestrated take on "Green Grows the Holly" and the Civil Wars' indie folk dirge "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" both drag the collection down with their heavy-handedness. Though the collection has several standouts and a few duds, much of Holidays Rule is as straightforward as it comes, with unremarkable versions of holiday songs by very good names like the Fruit Bats, Holly Golightly, and Irma Thomas backed by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, among others. At its best, the collection is spirited fun, and at its worst it's inoffensive background music, but it falls short of the adventurous spin on the holiday times it sets out for.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Hear Music

Related Subjects


  1. Sleigh Ride  -  Fun.
  2. Wonderful Christmastime  -  Shins
  3. Baby, It's Cold Outside  -  Rufus Wainright
  4. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)  - Paul McCartney
  5. (Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man with the Bag  - Sallie Ford
  6. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day  -  Civil Wars
  7. Green Grows The Holly  -  Calexico
  8. We Need A Little Christmas
  9. That's What I Want for Christmas  - Holly Golightly
  10. May Ev’ry Day Be Christmas  -  Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  11. Blue Christmas  -  Heartless Bastards
  12. Santa, Bring My Baby Back to Me  - Eleanor Friedberger
  13. It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas  -  Fruit Bats
  14. Señor Santa  -  Y La Bamba
  15. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel  -  Punch Brothers
  16. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?  -  Head and the Heart
  17. Auld Lang Syne  - Andrew Bird

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Irma Thomas   Vocals
Charlie Gabriel   Clarinet
Robert Hurst   Bass
Joey Burns   Piano,Accordion,Cello,Vocals,Guitar (Nylon String)
Andy Burton   Piano
Joe Lastie   Drums
Freddie Lonzo   Trombone
Rickie Monie   Piano
John Pizzarelli   Guitar
Joy Williams   Piano,Vocals,Pump Organ,sleigh bells
Diana Krall   Piano
John Convertino   Drums
Benjamin Jaffe   Bass
Patrick Kiernan   Violin
Chris Thile   Group Member
Holly Golightly   Vocals
Mark Nathan   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Karriem Riggins   Drums
Gabe Witcher   Group Member
Andrew Bird   Violin,Vocals
Deborah Widdup   Violin
Graeme Gibson   Percussion,Drums
Nate Query   Bass
Chris Funk   Banjo,Bells
Eric Johnson   Bass,Guitar,Tambourine,Vocals,Marxophone
Adam Thompson   Guitar,Vocals
Jacob Valenzuela   Trumpet
Natalia Bonner   Violin
Wired Strings   Performing Ensemble
Jesse Ebaugh   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Pedal Steel Guitar
Mark Braud   Trumpet
Eleanor Friedberger   Vocals
Camilla Pay   Harp
Richard Pryce   Double Bass
Rob Oberdorfer   Bass
Noam Pikelny   Group Member
Andrew Frawley   Percussion
Richard Ashton   French Horn
Lizzie Ball   Violin
Jon Neufeld   Guitar
Clint Maedgen   Saxophone
John Paul White   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Guitar (12 String Electric)
Johanna Kunin   Piano,Vocals,Casio
Brent Knopf   Choir, Chorus
Victor Nash   Trombone,Trumpet,French Horn
Chris Eldridge   Group Member
Max Goldman   Drums
Morgan Wiley   Piano
Rosie Danvers   Cello
Ryan Alfred   Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Upright Bass
Chris Zasche   Bass
Michael Kitson   Percussion,Vocals
Tyler Williams   Drums
Matt Sheehy   Choir, Chorus
David Colvin   Piano,Drums
Paul Kowert   Group Member
Annalisa Tornfelt   Vocals
Ji Tanzer   Drums
Scott Magee   Percussion,Ukulele,Vocals
Alan Hampton   Guitar,Vocals
Julio Monterrey   Saxophone
Sally Jackson   Violin
Kenny Warren   Trumpet
Michael Hanf   Vibes
Jason Disu   Trombone
Jenny Conlee-Drizos   Percussion,Accordion,Celeste
Ben Meyercord   Bass,Vocals
Eric Schrepel   Accordion
Luzelena Mendoza   Vocals
Chloe Vincent   Flute
Tim Perry   Vocals,Guitar (Nashville)
Kenny Hensley   Piano
Charity Rose Thielen   Vocals
Josiah Johnson   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Sallie Ford   Vocals
Matt Gervais   Electric Guitar
Becky Jones   Viola
W. Andrew Raposo   Bass
Dan Hunt   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Eleanor Stamford   Violin
Erika Wennerstom   Vocals
Edward Cameron   Guitar,Vocals
Hand Clap Choir   Choir, Chorus
Sarah Fennell   Choir, Chorus
Ronnell Johnson   Tuba
Jon Russell   Vocals

Technical Credits

Leroy Anderson   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Louis Jordan   Composer
Mel Tormé   Composer
Jerry Herman   Composer
Frank Loesser   Composer
Dudley Brooks   Composer
Nancy Jeffries   Executive Producer
Jay Joyce   Producer,Engineer
Stewart Lerman   Producer,Engineer
Tommy LiPuma   Producer
Mitchell Parish   Composer
Schmitt   Engineer
Aaron Schroeder   Composer
Dave Sinko   Engineer
Michael Taylor   Engineer
Robert Wells   Composer
Meredith Willson   Composer
Randall Poster   Producer,Executive Producer
Andrew Dawson   Additional Production
Mark Nathan   Engineer
Calexico   Arranger
Claude Demetrius   Composer
Hal Stanley   Composer
Irving Taylor   Composer
Pat Ballard   Composer
Damon Whittemore   Engineer
Adam Seltzer   Engineer
Shins   Engineer
Brian Montgomery   Pro-Tools
Richard Woodcraft   Engineer
Michael Crow   Engineer
Chris Funk   Producer,Engineer
Shawn Simmons   Engineer
Eleanor Friedberger   Producer
Jack Antonoff   drum programming
Richard Swift   Producer
Andrew Dost   Arranger
Morgan Wiley   Engineer
Rosie Danvers   Orchestration
Ryan Alfred   Engineer
Punch Brothers   Arranger
Earl Scioneaux   Engineer
Fun.   Producer
Jay W. Johnson   Composer
David Drake   Producer,Engineer,Instrumentation
E.E. Lawrence   Composer
Billy Hayes   Composer
Head and the Heart   Producer
Xaphoon Jones   drum programming
W. Andrew Raposo   Engineer
TommyD   Producer
Sara Matarazzo   Producer
Jack Macinnes   Engineer
Edward Cameron   Whistle

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