Isaak, that smooth ole crooner, is so fond of Christmas that he’s released two albums this festive season. Please just listen to this one, because the other (Chris Isaak Christmas Live On Soundstage) is a disappointing, rockabilly-lite cheeze fest. In contrast, Christmas is a properly fun-festive ride. While the album’s no Forever Blue, it is a sweet rockabilly/country/rhythm and blues collection of secular Chrissy classics, including ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, ‘Let It Snow’ and ‘White Christmas’.
Originally issued in 2004, the Aussie re-release has two bonus tracks – ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Dogs Love Christmas Too’, the former being an egg-nog smooth rendition of a carolling staple, and the latter a cute ditty for canine lovers who buy their fur babies Christmas presents.
Highlights include Isaak’s too cute spin on ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ and ‘Santa Bring My Baby Back’, while ‘Gotta Be Good’, a call and response reflection on the tribulations of trying to play nice is an absolute corker starting with an unexpectedly Tom Waits-y growl.
On the flip side, not sure why he ramped up the Yamaha on ‘Blue Christmas’. Although it’s unhelpful albeit almost impossible to avoid comparing Isaak to Elvis, the King’s version shits all over this.