And so it begins. It’s that time of year, the time when artists turn their musical attentions to the seasonal sounds. And whilst this often means a wave of so called celebrities crooning away for a quick buck or pop kids adding another layer of mush to the musical canon, thankfully this first slice of seasonal song to land in my inbox is from our good friend Slang and that means that you are going to get something well worth a listen.

And so it goes. Even though he has, obviously chosen some well known songs to make up his festive flourish, it is what he does with them that is the selling point. No quick gimmick, no cash ins, no pop-pap, just some slick and reworked, instrumental art-attacks. It’s what he does. And he does it brilliantly.

Joy To the World is a deft piece of polished rock, The First Noel is throbbing, funky and suitably slightly medieval…if that period had amps and electricity… and from there we travel to all sorts of interesting musical places. Candy Apple Rock grooves like a groovy thing, Gesu Bambino is soothing and smooth and the iconic We Three Kings is suitably lilting and lovely.

The album rounds off by reminding us to think of those less fortunate at this time of year, Beatocello being a wonderful, classical meets spacey rock dedication to the late Dr. Beat Richner and the selfless work he did in building children’s hospitals in Cambodia.

And so we are done. As I said, it is the season where it is easy to be cynical about the music to be found. But thankfully my first dipping of the reviewing toe in the sonic waters has cured me of such cynicism and found that Slang has taken on the task of putting together a set of Christmas songs and done it more than justice.

If you buy one Christmas album this year to set the mood around the home, then buy this album. If you buy two, then buy this album twice.

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