Yep Roc is certainly a hipper than average record label, so it should come as no surprise that they've put together a hipper than average Christmas album, featuring contributions from 12 artists on the imprint's roster. Oh Santa! features some stompin' blue-eyed soul from Jake Brennan ("Santa Gave to You What You Gave to Me"), cool retro sounds from Los Straitjackets ("Holiday Twist"), higher octane roots music courtesy of Reverend Horton Heat and the Legendary Shack Shakers, ("Santa on the Roof" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" respectively), a dose of progressive bluegrass from Chatham Country Line ("O! Santa"), and cool pop confections from the Apples in Stereo ("Holiday Mood") and the Minus Five ("Your Christmas Whiskey"). There's also a hilarious sweet-and-sour duet by Kristi Rose and Jason Ringenberg, offering opposing views on the holiday season with "Lovely Christmas," while the Moaners deliver the mildly sinister "Something in Santa's Lap," Marah head into regional novelty territory with "New York Is a Christmas Kind of Town" (delivered with the vague sneer of true Philadelphians discussing the Big Apple), and Cities ("So Cold This Christmas") and American Princes ("This Business of Christmas") are on hand to show that even post-punk indie rock guys can get into the Yuletide spirit in their own gloomy way. If your annual holiday gathering involves more cheap beer and discussion of Replacements B-sides than family and chestnuts on an open fire, than Oh Santa! should be right up your alley.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming