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Bad Religion - Christmas Songs (Cover Artwork)

Bad Religion

Bad Religion: Christmas SongsChristmas Songs (2013)
Epitaph

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: BryneBryne
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Throughout their illustrious 34-year career, Bad Religion have remained remarkably consistent compared to their contemporaries. Of their sixteen studio albums, twelve or thirteen of them range from really good to great, and even the other few have their moments. At this point, a large section of the.
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Throughout their illustrious 34-year career, Bad Religion have remained remarkably consistent compared to their contemporaries. Of their sixteen studio albums, twelve or thirteen of them range from really good to great, and even the other few have their moments. At this point, a large section of the punk scene is fully comfortable giving them carte blanche based on their back catalogue. Which, to a certain degree, might be one reason why Christmas Songs exists.

To their credit, Bad Religion play it relatively straight on Christmas Songs. These versions are faithful, both to the source material and to the vocal-harmony heavy, zealous sound BR have established over the past three decades. As for as intent goes, they nailed it. These versions are also faithful in that, with the exception of "White Christmas" and the band's own "American Jesus," they're traditional, religiously heavy-handed covers. The irony hopefully isn't isn't lost on Bad Religion or their fans.

Still, if there were ever a punk band fit to cover songs of this style, it's Bad Religion; that much is immediately apparent as the expertly harmonized, a capella intro of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" kicks off Christmas Songs. And man, who ever thought the band's patented oozin' aahs would be used for such sorcery like on "O Come All Ye Faithful!" It's musically very impressive, but elicits a very odd feeling.

Like the originals, the covers on Christmas Songs tend to breeze by; all eight run between 1:40 and 2:08 and in this case, brevity is an advantage. It's clear Bad Religion are having fun on "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and "White Christmas," between the pacing and the wild guitar solos. As expected, Brooks Wackerman shines behind the kit on "Little Drummer Boy," perfectly aping the cadence of the original while adding extra oomph. For his part, Greg Graffin gleefully sneers through "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and displays some impressive range on "Angels We Have Heard On High."

Christmas Songs closes with the Andy Wallace mix of "American Jesus," which isn't dramatically different from the Recipe For Hate version. It sounds a little more "produced"; every instrument, especially the drums, sound louder, and the gang vocals toward the song's end are higher in the mix. The song still rips regardless of version, though this mix being officially released will no doubt be a boon for completist Bad Religion fans.

Technically proficient though not meant to be taken super seriously, Christmas Songs is a fun enough, but ultimately non-essential piece of the Bad Religion canon. The most important thing about this album is that 20% of the proceeds are going to SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.)

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Bad Religion - Stranger Than FictionBad Religion - The Dissent of ManBad Religion - True NorthAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Clash - London CallingBad Religion - GeneratorBad Religion - Recipe For HateBad Religion - Against the GrainBad Religion - SufferBad Religion - New Maps of Hell [Deluxe Edition] [CD/DVD]

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Reboots (December 8, 2013)

I take it seriously and it works! 4.5 stars.
We all benefit!

shammu (November 27, 2013)

If any of you atheist had a pair you would stand up for what you believe in and not always compromise. I don't go to church because I do not believe in a religion, so why would I listen to a bunch of songs about praising a god if I am an atheist? Okay, so these are traditional American folk songs or whatever, but isn't that why we liked Bad Religion in the first place. Because we wanted to listen to something that would relieve our ears from hearing this mindless worship music full of out dated beliefs. Only give respect to what deserves respect.

jetblackdave (November 3, 2013)

Whether you like Christmas songs or not, you're pretty much forced to listen to them during the holidays. At least with this record you can enjoy the stylings of the songs. I think it's a great sounding record and it's catchy as hell. It makes me look forward to another new Bad Religion record.

keithybobeefy (November 3, 2013)

"This thing is fun as hell.
I don't believe in "god", I think people that do are dumb cunts, but I still won't deny that a lot of Christmas songs are actually pretty good.
It's a good band covering good songs. I like it."

Neat.

telegraphrocks (November 1, 2013)

This thing is fun as hell.
I don't believe in "god", I think people that do are dumb cunts, but I still won't deny that a lot of Christmas songs are actually pretty good.
It's a good band covering good songs. I like it.

elliot (November 1, 2013)

They're one of my favorite bands, but I have no interest in hearing this.

Rich27 (November 1, 2013)

"Itâ??s musically very impressive, but elicits a very odd feeling." - well put. As much as I enjoy BR's sound there's just something that stops me short from really enjoying this (ironic) release.

Also gotta give the band a dig for daftly priced American Jesus shirts - sure, they look great but £20 inc P&P is a bit steep.

Oh yes, good review my man!!

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