It seems this year that the holidays are bringing out the worst in people: crazy drivers, crazy shoppers and crazy-looking Santas. What can bring a little peace during this chaotic time, you ask? This year it’s Grammy-winner Aimee Mann’s One More Drifter in the Snow.
Ok, Christmas music. Everyone has heard the typical songs, meant to bring warmth and the Christmas spirit to each of us. (Some are just annoying, especially on a Saturday in December, being blasted in a local retail store, with screaming children everywhere.) But, done the right way, these traditional songs do not only have meaning, but can actually be pleasing to the soul. [Enter Aimee Mann.]
One More Drifter in the Snow has the same timeless feel as old Sinatra Christmas songs, and includes two original songs written and performed by Mann and Michael Penn. Mann says she wanted to produce an album that “captures the spooky beauty and mystery that Christmas is.” (The record was released on the spookiest day of the year, October 31st.)
The album starts off with “Whatever Happened to Christmas,” a sorrowful ballad, which has Mann sounding dark and Joni Mitchell-ish. Midway through the album, Mann and guest Grant Lee Phillips combine for a killer “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” The simple rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” has an a cool, almost eerie feel. The last five tracks are traditional songs, including “Winter Wonderland,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “White Christmas.” The two original songs, “Christmastime” (featuring a banjo and old-school Cali guitar) and the slow-tempo “Calling on Mary” (salvation’s coming cheap today/merry Christmas, merry Christmas) are sandwiched nicely within the traditional tunes.This album is dynamic, and floats under Mann’s smoky voice. One More Drifter in the Snow truly captures the essence of Christmas and is worthy of any great collection.