MU330 - Winter Wonderland (Cover Artwork)


Winter Wonderland (1999)

Asian Man

Having been raised Jewish (stupid Chanukah!), I've always been generally annoyed by Xmas/holiday music and now, as an atheist adult, I just can't stand it. There are radio stations dedicated to it 24/7 and it seems like I can never get those stupid songs out of my head. However, I do have one Christmas album in my collection and it's from my favorite ska-rockers from St. Louis, MU330.

Knowing that Dan Potthast was raised by a religious family and sent to Catholic school, this album came as no surpise and, 10 years later, is still the only Christmas music that truly warms the cockles of my heart during the "holiday season." They've put together (in rockin' style, of course) a couple classic carols ("Angels We Have Heard on High," "I Heard the Bells on Christmas") with their own original holiday songs for this 10-song CD.

The standout tracks include "I Got This Neighbor," a song about living next door to this strange guy (Santa) that contains up-tempo upstrokes and lightning-quick rhymes that, once deciphered, will surely make you crack a smile. My personal favorite is "This Year More Than Ever," a slower 6/8 ballad lamenting being out on the road away from your loved one and yearning for the winter fun of previous holidays. If you're making a mix for your guy or gal this season, including this track will definitely get you some lovin' by the fire.

The album closes with "Gerry's Downhome Christmas," a somber spoken-word piece from tromboner Gerry Lundquist. Featuring a sparse musical arrangement underneath his deep, gravelly voice, this tale of lean Christmas's past will surely put today's holiday greed into perspective.

I'm a self-professed Grinch. Humbug! As an avid anti-religionist, I find that what's become of the Christmas/holiday season disgusting and disenguous. That being said, this album always puts a smile on my face and is the only Christmas album I plan on playing for my future kids to try and explain what Christmas SHOULD be about: Peace on Earth, good will to men.