Looking for something fresh to soundtrack your yuletide beyond the same old grab-bag? (Elvis, Beach Boys, Phil Spector's gals, and Vince Guaraldi don't fatigue, but still.) How does this eclectic assortment grab you? The solo sultry chanteuse and ex-Voltress singer from Madison, Wisconsin had already re-imagined songs recorded by Idlewild, Cheap Trick, Julie London, OMD, Emilio Pericoli, and Ann-Margaret on 2007's Violet Night; so with collaborators like Andrew Bird guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker and his bassist Mike Lewis, she downshifts from jazzy, cocktail-shaker versions of standards such as "A Marshmallow World" and Guaraldi's chilly "Christmas Time Is Here," to a weirdo folk "I'll Be Home for Christmas" like an alternate universe Rosemary Clooney, to neo-shoegaze and non-traditional covers of Dr. Seuss' Grinch, Low, Neil Young, and Ron Sexsmith. Like 1962's ace bebop Jingle Bell Jazz, Welcome to Christmastown is as mistily moody as it is celebratory.
AllMusic Review by Jack Rabid