Sleighed: The Other Side of Christmas (Hip-O/Universal)

Christmas Records

Record Reviews

Sleighed: The Other Side of Christmas


It's possible, believe it or not, to do a contemporary Christmas album without sounding clichéd. Last year's gorgeous Christmas by Low was one of the finest Yuletide offerings in years, but alas, most stumble down the treacherous path of Hanson's ill-fated Snowed In. The producers of Sleighed prefer the too-cool-to-care direction, figuring a jokey Christmas album might bring something fresh to the table. Problem is, "You Ain't Getting Shit for Christmas" and "I Farted on Santa's Lap" are funny the first couple times around, but not exactly the kind of fare you enjoy while catching up with aunts and uncles over hot cider. The most successful jams on this compilation of previously released material are the traditional ones. Plankeye's "Away in a Manger" is fun and infectious in a Blink-182 sort of way, and Local "Keep Me Copacetic" H does wonders with "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," adding a rumbling bass line to take the schmaltzy edge off. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones' "Xmas Time" is the best original of the bunch, as they wisely lay off the horns -- Santa ain't so hip to ska. The Smithereens' oddly becoming "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" from 1982 shows up here, as do a couple cuts from Geffen's '96 Christmas comp: Beck's voicebox-laden "The Little Drum Machine Boy" and Sonic Youth's career lowlight "Santa Doesn't Cop Out on Dope." Let's face it, any Christmas album featuring Spinal Tap must be approached with all due caution.


The 2021-2022 Austin Music Awards Music Poll is underway. Vote now for your favorite bands, venues, and music until January 31.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Michael Chamy
Texas Platters
Palaxy Tracks
Twelve Rooms (Record Review)

Sept. 16, 2005

Texas Platters
Feathers From the Wing EP (Record Review)

Aug. 12, 2005

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle