Get into the spirit with the new, varied “Holidays Rule” album

Olivia Synoracki
Staff Writer

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the holiday spirit is on its way. Soon enough, the radio will be blaring with holiday music, spreading cheer to many. So why not get into the holiday mood early?
On October 30, 2012, a new album called “Holidays Rule” went on sale. A variety of artists, such as FUN, The Civil Wars, Andrew Bird, and Paul McCartney are featured on this album, singing many favorite holiday songs.
What makes this CD special is that the artists are not the most popular groups played on the radio. Instead, these bands are all known for their alternative and indie rock vibe.
Listening to preview tracks on Amazon.com, it is obvious that all seventeen artists make these familiar songs they’re own.
Many of the tracks are fun, upbeat holiday songs; however, each has been transformed to give the CD a jazzed-up feel.
Track fourteen, “Señor Santa (Mister Santa),” by Y la Bamba, brings back the golden oldie “Mr. Sandman” from 1954, asking instead for Mister Santa to bring them a dream. Singer-songwriters Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten bring forth the lovable tune, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” originally written in 1944.
Their version, similar to Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward’s 2011 recording on their album, “A Very She & Him Christmas,” is slow and smooth, displaying the indie rock genre this album revolves around.
There are many holiday albums made with current pop and rock artists, which is exactly why this CD is so unique.
Except for FUN, these groups are not played on popular radio stations with artists like Maroon 5 and Katy Perry.
Although they are well-known by some, these artists have a different style from pop or rock artists. Therefore, this album as a whole has a very distinct energy.
Not one track sounds the same. Even though they all have a similar style, each artist gives their specific song a different sound, giving listeners a new flavor of their favorite holiday tunes, such as the song “Blue Christmas,” made popular by Elvis Presley.
The track, sung by the Heartless Bastards, incorporates the blues rhythm and sound while adding a folk music vibe into the mix.
There are a number of tracks like this, with artists blending different sounds to create a new one.
Some groups even rearranged these popular holiday songs, presenting them in a new way such as, “We Need a Little Christmas” by AgesandAges. This arrangement is similar to a choral piece, with many voices on different parts, all creating a harmonious tune. However, AgesandAges also change the rhythm of this old classic, giving it a contemporary style.
Each track on “Holidays Rule” has its own original sound, allowing listeners to hear a different style of holiday music.
With artists like the Shins, the Fruit Bats, and The Head and The Heart, Holidays Rule will be a very chill, festive CD.
It is never too early to start listening to holiday music, which is why it this unique album should be played on repeat.