Oh Holy Night


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Oh Holy Night Review

by Tim DiGravina

Imagine if you will a Smoking Popes Christmas album, because that's exactly what one gets with Duvall's Oh Holy Night. The album sees the former Pope attacking ten holiday classics in their trademarked pop-punk style, slowing down only for an a cappella version of "O Come All Ye Faithful," a lulling version of the title track, and a quiet yet still tense rendition of "Do You Here What I Hear." It's obvious from the get-go that the recording process was a blast, as the gang is clearly having loads of fun with little thought given to original arrangements. Anyone looking for poignancy, à la the group's haunting "Jesus Never Leaves Me" from Volume & Density might be disappointed in the charging and chunky rock on display here. Perry Como and Bing Crosby this is not. While there are some quiet moments scattered in the mix, the guitars are tuned more for gleeful fury rather than jingling bell subtlety. If one expects more emotion and heartbreak from Duvall, Oh Holy Night is still a joyous affair and an undeniably fun Christmas album. Perhaps with more variation in tone, the album would have had more mass market appeal. Any of these ten songs would be a delightful addition to an indie Christmas compilation, but the album as a whole will cause most revelry for Smoking Popes and Duvall diehards.

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