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A review of...
A Los Campesinos! Christmas by Los Campesinos!
A very British Christmas record
Los Campesinos' new EP kicks off with "When Christmas Comes", a Mike Leigh re-telling of Christmas which deals in equal parts with festive mythology and grim realism. Torrential rain replaces the cosiness of a white Christmas, drunken fumbling lust replaces mistletoe based romance. You get the idea, it's Los Campesinos through and through. The rest of the record repeats this witty approach to the Yuletide cash-in via various genres. The songs are mainly upbeat, even chirpy, with occasional soaring choruses but there's always the underlying bite that the band do so well. If you know somebody who likes Michael Buble (don't we all), then get them this for Christmas instead. They will probably hate it, but at least they won't be listening to Michael Buble.
"The Holly & The Ivy" - a modern folk tale with an Edward Scissorhands interlude. A quite unexpected move away from tinsel and sleigh bells.
"Kindle A Flame In Her Heart" - a no nonsense chorus which still manages to get the Christmas message across better than other rivals that try much harder. This also features a great vocal contribution from Kim Campesinos! and has a certain romantic magic blowing right through it. Romantic in a Hefner way (the band not the jazz mags mogul).
"Lonely This Christmas" - it's hard to imagine anyone murdering this classic and Los Campesinos play it pretty much straight with a warmly organ and drum machine. In doing so they somehow manage to ditch the memory Les Gray's textbook zany gurning and turn it into a proper tear jerker.