Mike Behrends and Lance Owens’ seasonal project, The Ornaments, is something that I look forward to all year. The chances that the song is going to skew a bit dark is pretty high, but you NEVER know how they are going to get there. This year’s song, “Cryin’,” finds their wonderful, dark storytelling in contrast with their most heartwarming music. The juxtaposition between the story of an overworked, neglectful father making his son cry amidst a forgotten Christmas with the outro’s airy hallelujahs, quiet strumming, gentle piano lines, and beautiful trombone colors is striking. This song has all the dark, complex, detailed storytelling I’ve come to love about The Ornaments, while suggesting that they might just have the sweetest song ever somewhere in there… who knows? Stranger things have happened!
I could listen to that outro for another five minutes, easy.
Bottom Line: The Ornaments continue to amass some of the most interesting Christmas music in existence. I, for one, cannot wait for the absolutely necessary full-length one day.