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CD REVIEW Taste of Christmas: Various

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In the world of mass retail splurges during December, it is nice to see that we still can count on the Christmas album to drown out the guilt of that last second purchase. Like many Americans, I like to find a little musical solace after getting my credit card bill. Warcon's release, Taste of Christmas is another compilation of artists who wanted to contribute to the capitalist holiday of the year. If you're a Buddy Holly throwback or want to impress the grandparents with a newfound appreciation for holiday hymns, this album is not for you. My own personal favorite, "Alone This Holiday" by the Used, sent me into a contemporary world full of rule breaking and laissez-faire attitudes.

On the other hand, there are some disastrous attempts at bringing in the tinsel time spirit with efforts such as "St. Nicholas," which is a mixture of '80s new wave and thrash metal tainted with old computer sound effects. In the opening track, Bert McCraken's "Happy Christmas, War is Over" impersonates Lenny Kravitz in the worst way while doing no justice to John Lennon. McCraken should avoid covers instead settling for a cover over the microphone his group sings into. You can always tell on these types of albums who put their best foot forward and I will say that "Christmas Song" by Bedlight for Blue Eyes is a rocker's song worthy of regular airplay. In the end, this album represents the diverse tastes and imaginative vibes both good and bad that make up the musical realm. With a little punk, a ballad here and there and some attitude, this album makes for great listening material while you bust open that mysterious box only to find you got yet another pair of underwear.

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