Pop Life

Oh My God, Is It Christmas Already?

Well, not technically, but you'd never guess by all the Yuletide records Rocks Off got in the mail this week. That's right, it's not even Halloween and the first crop of holiday albums is already in stores, with more on the way from studio sax giant Dave Koz, Broadway diva Sarah Brightman, devil-baiting fiddler Charlie Daniels and Texican rock and rollers Los Lonely Boys (who play House of Blues with Alejandro Escovedo tonight, btw). Along with about 1,000 others, I'm sure.

Here's what's under the tree so far:

Al Jarreau, Christmas: Super-smooth jazz/R&B crooner tackles "White Christmas," "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," "I'll Be Home for Christmas" (with Take 6), lesser-known standards. Resale Probablity: Medium

Kemper Crabb, Downe in Yon Forest: Christmas from the Middle Ages: Now this is interesting. Houston's own Crabb, a former member of Christian rockers Caedmon's Call, goes way, way, way back for "What Child Is This," "Coventry Carol" and "Divinium Mysterium of the Father's Love Begotten," played on vintage instruments. Some of this stuff is so spooky it could work just as well at Halloween. How about that? Resale Probability: Low

Various Artists, Miracle Christmas Night: Windam Hill-style gospel compilation with R&B overtones and a cameo by Stevie Wonder: "Do You Hear What I Hear," "What Child Is This," Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," etc. Resale Probability: High

Neil Sedaka, The Miracle of Christmas: Two-disc set - half originals, half standards - from the man who reminded us "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" and "Love Will Keep Us Together": "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow," "Silent Night," The First Noel," etc. "What a Lousy, Rotten Christmas" looks like it may have potential, though. Resale Probability: Astronomical - Chris Gray

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray