Wednesday, January 7, 2009

This Warm December

This Warm December is a collection of holiday songs by artists on Jack Johnson's record label, Brushfire Records. The label is made up of many great artists including Jack Johnson, ALO, G. Love, Matt Costa, Mason Jennings and the newly added Rogue Wave.

Jack Johnson kicks off the album with a Stevie Wonder cover, Someday at Christmas. It's a pretty classic example of the Jack Johnson mellow sound but is not my personal favorite on the album. Next on the album is Santa Clause is Coming to Town covered by Mason Jennings. I love Mason Jennings, I think he's got a great voice and really sticks out in the folk world. This cover is a lot of fun and although he doesn't really make song his own, his guitar playing makes it a really nice tune. After that is All I Want for Christmas is You by Matt Costa. This song is a bit of a disappointment because I think Matt Costa has a lot to offer but this song is kind of depressing and a little lame. The next song is No Christmas for Me by a new comer by the name of Zee Avi. She's got a really nice voice and the song has good lyrics which add up to a nice light song that is fun and easy to listen to. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find anything else by her but I look forward to some future records. The next track is Stuck at the Airport by Money Mark. I'm not very familiar with his work but this song, although VERY repetitive is pretty good, not my favorite but good. The next song is Christmas Baby by G. Love. A cool song and quintessential G. Love. It's got a cool harmonica and fun guitar to back it up. Next is Christmas Time by ALO and it's pretty good. ALO does a good job of making this one their own and will have you tapping your foot in no time. The song ends on a strange note but does not ruin it. The next song is The Man in the Santa Suit by Neil Halstead which sounds a lot like a Bruce Springsteen song and is nice to listen to. Not your typical christmas song but good nonetheless. After that is Christmas by Rogue Wave. When I saw that they had signed to Brushfire Records, I was surprised but I think it'll be a good expansion for the label. The song is pretty good and is reminiscent of early Rogue Wave with a lo-fi recording and and light voice. Next is one of the better songs on the album, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer by Jack Johnson. This is a very peppy song and fun to listen to. Excellent for all fans of the mellow folk genre and definitely great for Jack Johnson fans. The album ends with a version of Silent Night by ALO lead singer Zach Gill. It is very nice and relaxing. He doesn't try to go out of his range and make it too complicated and is a good song to fall asleep to.

Over all i give the album 3.5/5 stars. I am big fan of the Brushfire Record catalogue and even if you're not, I think you would like this album. It's a lot of fun and is nice to chill out to. Since this is volume 1, I look forward to volume 2 and can't wait to hear what comes next for Brushfire.

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