About & Ratings

What Christmas Underground is about…

I’m not looking for Christmas standards or mainstream musicians. I’m much more open to music that is pretty secular, and doesn’t get heavy into much religious themes. I give preference to original songs, and to covers that reinvent the material in an interesting way. I hate “Little Drummer Boy” with a passion. I have a personal taste for indie rock/indie pop/alt.country/folk/swedish/political Christmas songs and the melancholy of the season. My specific taste is reflected in this site, so what I might like, may very well not be your taste.

I will begin reviewing my rather extensive Christmas music collection, with no preference for the good records. There will be compilations, single tracks off non-Christmas records, and legit Christmas records. There will be CDs, vinyl, digital downloads, imports and limited editions and out-of-print gems. Truly, anything goes. I want this to be a resource for those scouring the net, looking for that final song for this year’s Christmas mix. If you would like me to review your Christmas release, please visit my Submissions page.

My rating system will be on a 5-point scale, taking into consideration:

1. Good songs. One terrific song can make a Christmas record, because I rarely consider an entire Christmas record to be truly listenable and enjoyable – and thus I give the good songs great weight. One amazing song can keep a lackluster release in the average/above-average range. This is a necessity, or most Christmas releases would score down in the dumps.

I don’t mean to be abusive to Christmas music – I really do love finding fantastic Christmas tunes. Its like finding a diamond in a coal mine 🙂 I just think that many artists consider their Christmas song(s) to be an afterthought, rather than a true effort. Those who put forth the effort are easily noticed, and vice versa.

2. Price. A cheap record with 2 good songs will rate higher than a higher-priced competitor.

Therefore…

  • 5 is a record you can listen to all the way through and be pretty damn pleased.
  • 4-4.9 is extremely good.
  • 3-3.9 is above average.
  • 2-2.9 is average.
  • 1-1.9 is below average.
  • 0-0.9 is pretty unlistenable.

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