CJ Ramone - Christmas Lullaby (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

CJ Ramone

Christmas Lullaby (2018)

Fat Wreck Chords

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed that CJ Ramone is actually starting to look a bit like Kris Kringle. It turns out that maybe he was just getting into character for Christmas Lullaby. His bushy white beard would certainly make him a prime candidate to play Santa Claus at the family Christmas party. (See the front cover.) If not, at least he’s given us a couple of new songs to enjoy at our annual holiday trainwrecks. While CJ’s face is showing its age, his voice is still in pristine condition.

The A-side/title track is a new song called “Christmas Lullaby”. Between having lullaby in the name and the brief piano intro, I was worried about this song. I shouldn’t have been. Musically, it follows the same formula that CJ has been perfecting in his solo career. It’s one part Ramones punk, one part jangly ‘60s pop and one part ‘90s alternative. It’s a catchy song and has a nice message without being heavy handed. The B-side is the Kinks’ 1978 classic “Father Christmas”. It’s a playful song in which Santa is threatened by a group of poor kids, and money is demanded rather than toys. It’s fun but still has a worthwhile holiday message.

I’ve really grown to appreciate CJ over the last few years, and I’m glad to see him getting the respect he deserves. The dude has been quietly been honoring his Ramones roots while forging ahead with his own sound too. Christmas Lullaby has certainly earned a spot in my Christmas music rotation. I’ll slide it in somewhere between Bad Religion’s Christmas Songs, Twisted Sister’s A Twisted Chistmas and Sloppy Seconds’ Lonely Christmas.