Scott Weiland

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Very few people may have been waiting for a Christmas record from Scott Weiland, but that doesn’t mean reindeer sweaters are an uncomfortable fit for the rocker. Unabashed Bowie fan that he is, Weiland has always shown a weakness for crooning, slipping into a slur even on Core, but The Most Wonderful Time of the Year allows him to indulge in his Thin White Duke obsession to his heart’s content. Maybe he doesn’t re-create Bowie’s duet with Bing Crosby on “Little Drummer Boy,” but he surely cops Der Bingle’s warble on “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland,” then layers in harmonies out of Hunky Dory on “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” all coloring for a record that is, like so many traditional holiday albums from rockers, shamelessly patterned on Sinatra’s classic Christmas albums (well, with the exception of “Silent Night,” whose Casio rhythms are straight out of Tiny Music). The thing is, Weiland doesn’t quite take this all seriously -- there are layers of kitsch in his bossa nova swing, not to mention that repeated Bing mimicry or the decision to have “O Holy Night” bounce along to a reggae beat -- yet he’s not being ironic, either. Weiland sounds loose, like he’s discovered how to have fun in the studio, and if he hasn’t made a holiday album for the ages, at least he’s cut one that’s enjoyable.

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