The late, great Hunter S. Thompson once said, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” Or they make a Christmas album — or both.
Either way, any year that brings holiday releases from human Ken dolls Justin Bieber and David Archuleta and Stone Temple Pilots drama king Scott Weiland certainly scores high on the “Seriously?!” scale. Here are the latest volley of holiday music albums.
n “Glad Christmas Tidings” David Archuleta and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (Mormon Tabernacle Choir)
Anyone on your list who thinks Jerry Bruckheimer is too subtle? Here’s the holiday CD for them.
n “Under the Mistletoe” Justin Bieber (Island Def Jam)
The holiday music tradition is probably resilient enough to survive the head-scratching fare Justin Bieber serves up here.
n “Christmas” Michael Buble (Warner Bros.)
The breakout holiday sales winner of 2011, and why not? Any singer with a classic-sounding voice like this Canadian’s, when accompanied by expansive big band and orchestra arrangements of the standard repertoire, grabs the inside track to the seasonal music market.
n “A Very She & Him Christmas” She & Him (Merge)
Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward understand that sweetness doesn’t have to be sticky, and that simple usually trumps gaudy when it comes to holiday music. Their rendition of the yuletide classic “The Christmas Waltz” is beautiful.
n “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Scott Weiland (Rhino)
The Stone Temple Pilots front man sounds like an alien intruder in a Norman Rockwell painting as he earnestly tries to croon holiday tunes such as “White Christmas” and the title track.