Brian Setzer Orchestra

Christmas Rocks: The Best of Collection

Surfdog Records; October 2008

In the world of Christmas compilation albums, there are hits (see above) and there are misses. What transpires on Brian Setzer Orchestra’s Christmas Rocks is part big band holiday cheer, part kitschy celebration, and part nonsensical seasonal marketing. Lauded as a “Best of Collection,” Christmas Rocks is little more than a reorganized and slightly condensed version of the band’s simultaneously released double disk, The Ultimate Christmas Collection. Subtract a few songs from that beast, throw in a b-side or two from last year’s Wolfgang’s Big Night Out, and pow-new product. All industry Scrooge-ing aside, the collection does have its rare moments. “Jingle Bell Rock” comes alive with a little help from some vintage-sounding female backing vocals and Setzer’s signature guitar licks. But the choral-meets-swing strangeness of “Angels We Have Heard on High” is enough to make me say “no thanks.”

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Phone Scams Spike Countywide

Callers are claiming to be IRS and Homeland Security agents.

Longtime Fiesta Soldados Given the Boot 

Ousted Marc Martinez said Old Spanish Days has become "less inclusive."

Los Padres Forest Officials Ban Unpermitted Campfires

Wildfire conditions prompt caution.

County Out $2M Annually on Recycled Paper

A changing world market is to blame.

Electricity Bailout?

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson squares off against Governor Jerry Brown.