Songs for Christmas

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Margaret Reges
Like Avalanche, Songs for Christmas is nothing if not eclectic. A whole sleigh-load of carols and original tunes collected from 2001 to 2006, these songs were written and recorded off the cuff, and naturally many of them feel a little ragged and underdone. But they're far more mature than any of the songs on A Sun Came, and there are moments of quirky holiday splendor -- moments akin to some of the best material on Greetings from Michigan and Illinoise -- that make plowing through the entire five-EP set a pleasure. If you're worried that Sufjan Stevens will sound a trifle predictable or indulgent covering traditionals like "Silent Night," your worries are justified. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Margaret Reges
Like Avalanche, Songs for Christmas is nothing if not eclectic. A whole sleigh-load of carols and original tunes collected from 2001 to 2006, these songs were written and recorded off the cuff, and naturally many of them feel a little ragged and underdone. But they're far more mature than any of the songs on A Sun Came, and there are moments of quirky holiday splendor -- moments akin to some of the best material on Greetings from Michigan and Illinoise -- that make plowing through the entire five-EP set a pleasure. If you're worried that Sufjan Stevens will sound a trifle predictable or indulgent covering traditionals like "Silent Night," your worries are justified. Recorders, oboes, glockenspiels, and banjos abound, and Stevens approaches these songs with the same vulnerability, preciousness, and weird religious overtones (à la Seven Swans) as he has on his previous work. That aside, "O Holy Night" and "O Come O Come Emmanuel" are deeply affecting, especially because they rely on Stevens' idiosyncratic arrangements and frail voice. The real sugarplums, though, are the original tunes. "That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!" is all meandering banjos and luminous harmonies reminiscent of "Romulus" and "Casimir Pulaski Day," and the jumpy "Get Behind Me, Santa!" reaches "The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts" heights with some of the best Santa-related lyrics the world has yet known ("You're a bad brother breakin' into people's garages!"). Stevens fans will love Songs for Christmas. Unabashedly, almost frighteningly, with the kind of glee normally attributed to a certain jolly old elf, fans will revel in this little blue box with its silver lettering and scribbly Christmas art. In addition to 42 shiny new tracks, the lucky recipients of Songs for Christmas will also receive: An animated short by Tom Eaton! One (mildly creepy) poster of Stevens in full holiday regalia! Two short stories by Stevens! A weird essay by Rick Moody! And a complete singalong book for the entire EP set! Not to mention stickers! And comics! Songs for Christmas is a veritable stocking's worth of doodads and oddities lovingly embroidered with Stevens' kitschy crayon drawings, scribbly pencil sketches, and extra-long song titles. Which adds up to one merry Christmas indeed for Sufjan Stevens fans.
Entertainment Weekly - Chris Willman
The season's most thrilling holiday release. (A)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/21/2006
  • Label: Asthmatic Kitty
  • UPC: 656605602820
  • Catalog Number: 28
  • Sales rank: 96,179

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sufjan Stevens Primary Artist, Organ, Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Bass, Flute, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Chimes, Drums, Glockenspiel, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Oboe, Hammond Organ, Electric Piano, Recorder, Tambourine, Vocals, Narrator, Bells, Vibes, Shaker, fender rhodes, sleigh bells, Telephone Voice, Applause
Denison Witmer Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Laura Myers Background Vocals
Matt Morgan Banjo, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals
James McAlister Percussion, Celeste, Drums, Vibraslap, Wind Chimes
Monique Aiuto Vocals, Background Vocals, Laughs
Vito Aiuto Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Laughs
Shara Worden Track Performer
Maria Bella Jeffers Cello
Rob Moose Violin
Bridgit DeCook Vocals
C.J. Camerieri Trumpet
Ben Lanz Trombone
Colin Stevens Background Vocals
Naho Tsutsui Violin
Shara Warden Vocals
Technical Credits
Harry Simeone Composer
Henry John Gauntlett Composer
Katherine Davis Composer
Alan Douches Mastering
John Newton Composer
Henry Onorati Composer
Isaac Watts Composer
Lowell Mason Composer
Charles Wesley Composer
Cecil Frances Alexander Composer
Denison Witmer Engineer
Laura Myers Engineer
Traditional Composer
Sufjan Stevens Arranger, Composer, Lyricist, Engineer, Liner Notes, Cover Art, Drawing, Reverb
Matt Morgan Arranger, Engineer
Casey Foubert Engineer
James R. Murray Composer
John Henry Hopkins Jr. Composer
Monique Aiuto Engineer
Vito Aiuto Engineer
Shara Worden Engineer
Stephen Halker Cover Illustration
Rick Moody Liner Notes
Bridgit DeCook Engineer
Reginald Heber Composer
Jacques Bredy Paintings
Colin Stevens Engineer
Shara Warden Contributor
Tom Eaton Illustrations, Animation, Video Stills
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Super Cool Christmas Album

    One of those great cds that improves with repetition. Some really haunting and beautiful tunes along with funny-not-novelty songs. Just funny in that they capture what it feels like to come home for Christmas holiday during college or from when you were a kid in the suburbs. Joyful and sweet and cool all at once.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    yes, it's worth it

    most people deliberating whether or not to buy this album are probably already sufjan stevens fans but are wondering, "is it really worth the 25 bucks to buy this box set?" the answer is yes. as the description states, what comes with this set is: 5 EPs, all of which are about 20 minutes long--the music is pleasant and sweet, although there's nothing SPECTACULAR about the music "quite honestly if you've heard one EP you've heard them all". but what makes the package worth it is everything else: a cool music video on the second disc, extensive liner notes with original christmas stories, STICKERS!, and in the lyric booklet there are guitar tabs so you can play along to every song! pretty neat stuff. there is one kind of creepy poster of sufjan and a woman and a young boy, not sure if they're part of his actual family but... whatever. all in all this package is worth it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews