Sufjan Stevens - Sufjan Stevens Presents Songs For Christmas

Published Friday 8th February 2008
Sufjan Stevens - Sufjan Stevens Presents Songs For Christmas
Sufjan Stevens - Sufjan Stevens Presents Songs For Christmas

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 44398-13653
LABEL: Asthmatic Kitty

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

In 2001, Sufjan Stevens decided it would be fun to create a mix tape of Christmas songs to give to family and friends as a present in the festive season. He hid away in his home studio with his banjo, roped in a few friends here and there and burned the results onto home packaged CDRs and shared with the chosen few. This process he repeated for the next few Christmases except 2004 when he was busy working away at the 'llinois' album. In 2006, he decided to release the entire set for Christmas to his wider fan base as a box set of the original EPs in their entirety complete with colourful artwork, detailed sleevenotes and songbook! Subsequently it's become my favourite Christmas music if only because somehow in its understated fashion, some of these well worn Christmas songs gather fresh nuances. It spans a huge range of music from instrumental versions of famous carols lasting 40 seconds to his longer interpretations of established Christmas songs. However there isn't a Frosty Snowman, Rudolph the Reindeer or a chestnut roasting anywhere. And this is to be welcomed! Sufjan has impeccable taste when it comes to choosing material. On top of that, the highlights here are Stevens' own quirky Christmas songs like "Did I Make You Cry On Christmas? (Well You Deserved It!)", "Come On! Let's Boogey To The Elf Dance", "That Was The Worst Christmas Ever" and "Get Behind Me Santa" all bringing a different spin to Christmas albums. When everybody else is recording mushy, obvious, cheesy fodder for the masses, Stevens brings a creative twist to Christmas songs and it's long been overdue. It's definitely the only Christmas album that I'll be playing around the Rimmer household next Christmas.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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