Various Artists

The Edge of Christmas

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There's nothing dangerous about The Edge of Christmas, rather it's a collection of contemporary Christmas songs suitable for play at even the most conservative family gathering-save for one punky number by the Ramones. Bookended by Queen's gorgeous anthem, "Thank God It's Christmas" and the Waitresses' new wave rap, "Christmas Wrapping," the compilation takes a while to get going, but halfway thorough things loosen up-not unlike an office Christmas party. The Pretenders' "2000 Miles" and the Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" were classy inclusions. Kate Bush's "December Will Be Magic Again" and the Cocteau Twins' "Winter Wonderland" are rarities now made available again. Dave Edmund's "Run Run Rudolph," a classic rockabilly romp, and the Ramones' "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight )" are modern day standards. As holiday rock records go, it doesn't get much more-traditional than this.

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