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Anthony Carew

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 15 Christmas Albums

By December 13, 2011

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Maybe Christmas has you feeling like Gruff Rhys (pictured!). The Welsh renegade —longtime leader of Super Furry Animals, solo artiste, and Neon Neon boffin— will, next week, be releasing a seasonal EP called Atheist's Xmas. It boasts such cheery wintertime wonders as "Post-Apocalypse Christmas" and "Slashed Wrists This Christmas," providing a hearty tonic for those of whom Christmas is a time of loneliness, alienation, depression, suicidal longings, and/or grinchy hatred of all things yule.

If your feelings for the season would make Santa Claus himself vomit with rage, Christmas albums are the horrendous soundtrack to such suffering. A trip to the grocery store is a chance to be bombarded with Michael Bublé, canonical minor-key carols, and crass commercial cash-ins. And noxious jingles like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman" are, for all their musical hideousness, adept earworms that burrow their way deep into your brain.

I'd point you to this below list as a way to wash away said songs, except, um, there's actual versions of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman" therein. But, thankfully, Banjo or Freakout's washed-out, psych-pop, experimental treatment of such standards is unrecognizable. There's plenty more attempts to make Christmas music respectable herein; plus attempts to rewrite the old rules, and, oh, totally mock the institution itself.

So pour yourself an eggnog, stand under mistletone, or indulge in any other Christmas cliché whilst you scan down these artifacts of the season. It's the Top 15 Indie Christmas Albums...


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