[sic] Magazine

Christmas Gift – Various Artists (Rainboot)

A charity compilation with all proceeds going to Save The Children. Less contentious than murdering Heroes surely? Not by any means all to my taste but the quality of performances is very high and the downbeat tone is very welcome in these times of relentless optimism in the face of common sense.

Not that you’ll want to cut your wrists after listening – we don’t want to bum you out before Santa arrives. But it’ll give me a couple of tracks for my Christmas DJ set to join Hey Lord by Suicide !

My best of’s are ‘It Came Upon A Midnight Clear’ by The Whiskey Priest , starting like Oliver Postgate music for Bagpuss it moves into, appropriately, whiskey soaked Tom Waits territory. ‘This Is A Gift’ by The Kickliner sounds like a drunk Uncle slurring love to a favourite nephew on a very boozy Christmas afternoon. The very understated keyboard towards the end is a joy in itself. As is the very brief crisp Yuletide morning of the instrumental ‘Firth’ by Junkboy . ‘Sleep Child’ by Justin Levinson provides a Fatherly warning to enjoy life when you can, that is a gift, after all.

While it might not be my greatest musical recommendation this has something for most listeners and you could do much worse that give a Christmas Gift as a Christmas Gift to family and friends this year.

As ever I’m not marking a charity album!