A Merry Friggin' Christmas

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the dark comedy, A Merry Friggin' Christmas, Joe McHale is Boyd Mitchler, a man who makes every effort to avoid his eccentric father (Robin Williams), choosing instead to focus on enjoyable home life with his wife (Lauren Graham) and son.  Unfortunately, Boyd and his family find themselves forced to stay at Boyd's parents' home for Christmas.  Of course, upon arrival, Boyd soon discovers that he has forgotten all of his son's Christmas presents under their tree at home, thus prompting a road trip with his father that he will never forget.

                The soundtrack of A Merry Friggin' Christmas features new versions of classic favorites and brand new songs that are perfect for the holiday.  The album begins with It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year performed by Rufus Wainwright and a fifty-five-piece orchestra.  It's not the same as the ones they overplay on the radio, but it sets things off well.  Going Home This Christmas, performed by The Belle Brigade (featuring Samantha Sidley), is a sweet song reminding us how nice it is to return to our roots at Christmas.  Then there's Jingle Bells by Chuck Meade and Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) by Ben Kweller.  Again, not your typical mainstream radio played versions, but Christmasy all the same.

                Next up is Up On the Housetop, the instrumental version of the classic song performed by California Feetwarmers Silent Night, as performed by Aaron Tipton, adds a classic country feel to one of my favorite Christmas carols It's Christmas Time I Know by Ryan Culwell is bound to raise a smile or chuckle out of the listener as a gentleman who is not all that into Christmas sings about the holiday from his perspective.  The Weather Outside by Spencer Shapeero is not the song you are thinking of.  Though the first lines sound like that famous song, this is a sad sort of love song that is not exactly a cheer for letting it snow.

                More Than I Wished For by FM Radio should sound familiar to folks bombarded by Christmas commercials.  It played prominently in one by a department store recently.  I love this song for its upbeat tempo and expression of love.  Try to Love (Joy to the World) by Ben Kweller and Selena Gomez is a fun little track set to a more upbeat version of the classic Christmas carol.  Best Time of Year by Alex Rhodes (who sounds very much like a younger version of Norah Jones) is a jazz-styled ode to this time of year.  We move on to the fun pop track Santa Will Be Flying Over the Moon by Anna Su.

                The final two songs on the soundtrack are not my favorites and it's a shame that the album ends on these two tracks.  First up is Gentle, Mary Laid Her Child by John Isaac Waters, which has a somewhat classic Christmas feel, but doesn't really seem to fit this album.  And finally, there's Christmas Is For Kids by Rufus Wainwright, a song that I had to crank up to hear properly, then decided I shouldn't have bothered.

                Despite those two songs, I couldn't help but smile while listening to the A Merry Friggin' Christmas Soundtrack, my first Christmas album of the holiday season.  This is a great collection of older Christmas songs with a new twist and some great new songs that are perfect for the season.  Having seen the promos and listened to the soundtrack, I can't wait to watch A Merry Friggin' Christmas - looks and sounds like a lot of fun!


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