Hippo Manchester
December 15, 2005

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CD Reviews: Various Artists, Taste of Christmas

B-

I love when an opening track makes my jaw drop. Put aside that yes, we’ve all heard some of these songs over and over again. Accept Christmas music as part of your life, and you’ll find Street Drum Corps rendition of the John Lennon classic “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” (with its creative percussion sounds and Beach Boy/Dispatch-like harmonies) a happy, modern, alternative to the normal holiday hell.  Unlike Santa Metal, Taste of Christmas is far from traditional; rather it’s a compilation of modern-day artists, mostly young up-and-coming (or perhaps never-will-arrive) bands. Compilation discs are like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get. While Street Drum Corps will impress you, Funeral For a Friend, and their song “Miracle of Christmas,” will bore you to death. You won’t know what to make of the reggae/nu-metal sounds of Skindred and their version of “Jingle Bells,” but you’ll probably respect their unique style.  And if you’re one of those people who are ashamed to say you like any modern-day pop-rock bands, you’ll probably shamefully enjoy Roses Are Red’s “Last Christmas.”

If you are an out-of-the-closet fan of modern-day popular rock, chances are you’ll dig this album. And you’ll possibly discover a band you like that you never heard of before.

— Richie Victorino