Christmas albums are usually cliché money grabs not worth listening to outside of the single, which will probably only stay on the charts for one year. Every once in a while, an artist does there own thing and it works. While The David Ricard Big Band is obviously inspired by The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s yearly Christmas Extravaganza, Holidays With A Bang! doesn’t sound like a Brian Setzer album because the horns are showcased more than the guitar.
Holiday’s With a Bang! contains mostly instrumentals. The standouts are “Auld Lang Syne” and “The Jingle Bells Cha Cha.” The former surprised me because I usually roll my eyes at “Auld Lang Syne.” Congratulations The David Ricard Big Band, you found a way to make me like that song. As for “The Jingle Bell’s Cha Cha,” I want to see a contestant on Dancing with the Stars do a routine to the song on the show’s holiday episode because Ricard puts a unique spin on the holiday classic.
Three songs on Holiday’s With a Bang! feature American Idol alum Aubrey Logan. Her jazzy voice is perfect for this type of music, which is probably why she didn’t make it past that show’s Hollywood Week. “Jingle Jangle Jungle” and “We’ll Wrap It Up On New Year’s Eve” both have original lyrics that Logan’s personality brings to life. The latter song contains my favorite holiday verse:
When they pop the cork in old New York/ They’ll all be frozen in Times Square/Without the spark of old Dick Clark/You’ll be glad you weren’t there
The low point on the album is “Skating.” It is the most sentimental song on the album and evokes every 1950s Christmas movie. In an album of exciting songs that starts with a big brassy mash-up of everyone’s favorite Christmas songs, “Skating” stands out as the least original.
If you want background music for your holiday party, forget the radio. All you need is this CD and The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s two Chrismas albums and you’ll have a fun holiday party without having to listen to “All I Want For Christmas is You” for the millionth time.
To purchase The David Ricard’s Big Band’s Christmas record, click here.
Allison Lips is the Founder of Wait! What’s a Dial?, a television blog that showcases the writing of millennials. Allison graduated from Rowan University in May 2013. She has a passion for TV history, especially late night and game shows. If she could go back in time, Steve Allen would still be hosting The Tonight Show. Follow her on Twitter @waitwaitsadial.