Geoffrey and the Livingstones have gathered their friends and recorded three indiepop originals for us this Christmas season. Their friend list is quite long, including members of Allo Darlin’, The Middle Ones, The Heliogoats, The Smittens, The School, Captain Dangerous, and the list goes on and on. I’d imagine that most of them are on the title track, “A Song is For Life and Not Just For Christmas,” because it is reminiscent of one of those “everyone takes a verse” classic Christmas tunes of yore. Its really a great little song, with some very odd lyrics for those of you who love that sort of thing (I would include myself in that category). “Christmas is the season / we miss old friends the most. / We’re not visited by wisemen, / we’re visited by ghosts. / But instead of kissing corpses / under the mistletoe, / lets raise a glass of eggnog / for a merry memorial toast.”
The other two tracks on the single are certainly the B-sides, but not to put them down, they are just of noticeably smaller scope. “Communist Christmas” is wonderfully clever, and will fit the bill for someone out there’s mix. I would post some lyrics, but you really need to experience them for yourself. “Little Donkey Kong” is a reimagining of “Little Donkey” as video game music. Not my thing, but hey, perhaps yours! It’s short, which is always a bonus.
Bottom Line: Hey, did I mention this is for charity, and totally worth the money? 4.8/5
I don’t have much time, so I grabbed a short one for this review. Happy New Year 2008 is out-of-print, and unavailable via Elefant, but still out there for purchase. Nothing really dates it 2008, so no worries about that.
Anyone familiar with the Elefant label will not be surprised by this indie pop groove. The School kicks it off with “Kiss You in the Snow,” which is a perfectly passable song. Light, happy and generally a good time. Coming in at 2:18, it is the perfect time – any longer and the saccharine sweetness might wear a bit… but they hit it well.
The second track by Helen Love is probably the one that you’ll come to with the highest expectations, if only for the title, “Joey Ramone Snowman.” Unfortunately, this is the worst song on the album. It sounds like a child is slightly autotuned… and the spoken-word-singing by a child is not only annoying, but ANNOYING. Sorry to be so brutal… but really. Its just not enjoyable.
Corazón contributes a song in spanish, which is quite appropriate for a spanish label. My Little Airport rounds out the disc with a song in Japanese, leaving only the twee-loving Swedes missing from this international celebration of the indie pop new year. With both tracks, the music is quite pleasant, but they don’t catch me as others have in the past. I don’t need to know what people are singing – if the music is engaging enough, that is all you really need. Not quite there.
Bottom Line: Cheap, but nothing truly amazing. The School track keeps this afloat. 2.6/5