Music » Hear & Now

Various Artists

Christmas Calling (Sony/Epic)


It's rare when a single song makes an entire album worthwhile. Rarer still when that album is a Christmas collection. And completely unfuckingheard-of when the song is an epic rock plea for a Motley Crüe lunch box filled with sticky buns. Enter Tenacious D with Sum 41. Singer-actor-all-around-portly-fun-boy Jack Black leads a thundering "Things I Want" with screeching Led Zeppelin fright and rumbling Black Sabbath fury. Hey now Santa, Black snarls, I'm writing to you 'cause there's a lot of cool shit I want. Among the items on the wish list: a solid-gold Harley with machine guns on the front, the aforementioned lunch box, a see-through jumpsuit, all of the Beatles' copyrights, a statue of Moby on the surface of the sun, and the opportunity to party naked on a school bus full of nuns. You can't coach that. The song is completely out of place on an otherwise staid album featuring Macy Gray, the Thorns, Phantom Planet and Travis doing solid if standard covers. Fuel does manage to give "We Three Kings" an eggnog hangover, but there are few other surprises in store. The mostly acoustic numbers shrivel beside the D's ferocity. Fiona Apple's straightforward "Frosty the Snowman" is perhaps the most disappointing. I hoped for a slinky jailbait number with lyrics like I've been a bad, bad girl/And Frosty is a bad, bad boy/With a corncob pipe and a throbbing member, but no dice. That's OK. "Things I Want" gives us all we need.

Add a comment