A Fine Frenzy

Oh Blue Christmas

Despite being released exclusively to Target, Oh Blue Christmas isn’t the schmaltzy pop record you’d expect it to be. The six-track collection by Los Angeles singer/songwriter Alison Sudol contains the necessary standards (“Winter Wonderland,” “Christmas Time Is Here”), but also saves room for a little artistic expression. The standouts here are, by far, Sudol’s original compositions, which rest on her strong and lilting deliveries. On “Wish You Well,” the young songstress proves herself capable of Neko Case’s signature vocal tricks, while the somber, Feist-like “Redribbon Foxes” provides a welcome contrast to all the merrymaking. Add to all that the fact that Santa Barbara rocker Omar Cowan contributes a good deal of the album’s instrumentals, and you’ve got yourself a Christmas record that’s light on the gimmick, heavy on the substance.

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