Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yuletunes - Part Three

Hopefully she's feeling a little more chipper these days. Photo from Kelley Ryan's website.

Here's Part Three of my 2009 look at the Yuletunes compilation on Black Vinyl Records. Incidentally, the Power Pop blog also has a post about Yuletunes today, written by NYMary, along with an interesting snippet from her upcoming book about the band Shoes, Boys Don't Lie.

Songs don’t come much happier than Bill Lloyd’s “Underneath The Christmas Tree,” which depicts a guy and his girlfriend spending an evening decorating their tannenbaum. Set to a catchy, guitars and drums arrangement, it sounds like it could have been a 1960s Top 40 hit. Lloyd conveys the holiday fun with lines like, “Tinsel in your hair, presents everywhere” and “You’re a sight to see underneath the Christmas tree.”

Meanwhile, Kelley Ryan is inconsolable on the somber ballad, “It’s Not Christmas,” as she spends the holiday alone “for the first time in years.” For Ryan, whose emotional vocals display a hint of Country & Western, all of the season’s colorful traditions have turned a deep blue. It’s not clear why the longtime beau is no longer there, but a reference to her looking longingly at the phone suggests there’s hope for a reconciliation. Like Spooner’s contribution to Yuletunes, “It’s Not Christmas” is a well-crafted song that leaves you wondering just when you would want to play it.

Singer-guitarist Herb Eimerman’s gorgeous ballad “You Gave Me” celebrates family traditions at Christmas, as well as the way love and values are passed on from one generation to another. The lyrics take us to a festive holiday gathering at the parents’ home where their children and grandchildren bask in “the love from this fine house.” Eimerman compares himself to a tree that has grown stronger over the years and tells his Mom and Dad, “I learned all my love from all your love you gave me.” This touching song could become a seasonal favorite if it was ever given enough air play on the radio. Eimerman is currently a member of The Britannicas, whose new holiday song, “Chris Hillman Christmas” is included on the Kool Kat Kristmas compilation.

The Critics uncork an irresistible energy on their romantic “She Feels Like Christmas Day.” This is probably the only song on Yuletunes that would fit in just as well on a non-holiday CD, if you consider the way the band uses Christmas as a metaphor for the overwhelming joy of finding love on lines like, “Let me be your favorite toy.”


Dar said...

Thank you for mentioning this great album.

Bought it for the Shoes' "This Christmas', but discovered so many great songs, above all Herb Eimerman’s “You Gave Me”, which is so touching and beautiful it makes me tear up.

Terry Flamm said...

Thanks, Dar. You can check out Herb's new band The Britannicas playing 1960s inspired power pop at: www.myspace.com/thebritannicas

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