Winter Dance Party – Holiday Greetings To You (CD)

There have been so many albums that look to make a spin on Christmas classics that it becomes hard to find a release that does anything new in the slightest. However, Winter Dance Party’s “Holiday Greetings To You” is a release that does just that, and shows listeners that storied songs such as “Frosty The Snowman”, “Santa Claus is Coming To Town”, and “Twelve Days of Christmas” can be jazzed (in this case, rocked) up and made into something fun. The Winter Dance Party is a supergroup of sorts, consisting of The Big Bopper’s son (Jay Richardson), John Mueller (Buddy Holly, in the touring version of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story) and Ray Anthony (whom listeners may remember from the Imperial Palace presentation of “Legends of Rock and Roll”).

“Let It Snow” adds equal amounts rock and brass to the oft-repeated song, turning a Christmas jingle into a surf/rock hybrid that will please fans of Dick Dale and The Stray Cats. “Little Drummer Boy” keeps with the overall sound put forth by tracks like the aforementioned “Let It Snow”, while sowing the seeds of psychedelic rock into the band’s repertoire. While some of the tracks on “Holiday Greetings To You” are fairly straightforward covers of the originals, Winter Dance Party goes out on a limb during tracks like “The Christmas Song”, to great effect.

The laid-back style of the Winter Dance Party’s version seems to hint at blues influences working just underneath the surface of the track, something that I feel shows enormous attention to detail. Where a number of acts fail to keep themselves circumscribed by the rules of their concept, the Winter Dance Party takes that extra step and makes “Holiday Greetings To You” into both an accurate and amazing disc. While the tracks on “Holiday Greetings To You” keep to a pretty specific sub-set of rock, subsequent releases by the Winter Dance Party should look into the covering of other Christmas standards in both the style crafted during “Holiday Greetings To You” and in those musical styles influenced by that style. “Holiday Greetings To You” will be the first Christmas album I’ve ever bought for my friends and family, and if anyone wants to inject a little bit of “cool” into the holiday season, a buy is strongly recommended.

Top Tracks: Run Rudolph Run, Sleigh Ride

Rating: 8.8/10

Winter Dance Party – Holiday Greetings To You / 2008 Self / 14 Tracks / /

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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