One of the pleasures I derive from my Sirius/XM subscription is coming across strange, offbeat musical offerings commercial over-the-air radio wouldn’t touch. I have at my fingertips access to the newest indie releases, deep album rock buried treasures and pre-rock ‘n’ roll blues and jazz to open my mind to a world beyond Boston and Fleetwood Mac. This holiday season, however, it’s been a wacky collection of Christmas songs by the Fab Four that have caught my ear.
As you would guess, the Fab Four is a Beatles tribute act, a dedicated subgenre of which there is no shortage of adherents, but this particular venture is unique. Think of it as the Rutles doing Christmas songs. It’s a musical chemistry experiment of sorts, a blending of melodies into a recognizable variation of a Beatles song while remaining faithful to the original Yuletide lyrics. What results is something between clever and gimmicky, and while my initial inclination leaned toward the latter, it was the warping of “What Child Is This” into a fantastically adept re-invention of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” that sort of, well, blew my mind. Well done, lads.