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Aimee Mann - One More Drifter In The Snow

Aimee Mann, One More Drifter In The Snow

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

I’LL always remember Aimee Mann for the sublime vocals she leant to the soundtrack of the film Magnolia and, in particular, the haunting recording of One.

There have been plenty of other albums, including I’m With Stupid. It’s notable, however, that those dusky vocals and keen sense of style lend an element of supreme quality to everything that Mann does.

So, it’s little wonder that a collection of Christmas songs, entitled One More Drifter In The Snow, should provide the same feel of quality.

I’m not usually one for Christmas albums, especially since they often offer the same collection of songs and become hopelessly and ruthlessly over-played throughout the festive season. But I’m all for variations or, at the very least, re-interpretations.

Mann lends her smooth, seductive vocals to classic tracks such as Winter Wonderland, I’ll Be Home For Christmas and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and promptly steals your heart in the process.

Rather than imbuing the songs with the same keen sense of joy that oozes out of everything this time of year, she lends them a thoughtful and sometimes haunting quality that inject them with an altogether more worthwhile feel.

You’ll melt as she purrs The Christmas Song and, in particular, the line “chestnuts roasting on an open fire”, while her subtle version of Calling On Mary is punchily delivered in a style befitting Chrissie Hynde and KT Tunstall.

In contrast, there’s a quirky charm surrounding her cheeky interpretation of You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch – one that appeals to the child in us all this time of year – while the banjos and mandolins that accompany Christmastime are simply enchanting.

The greatest accomplishment of the long-player, however, is that it actually provides a Christmas album that’s worth listening to. It’s both romantic and fun, without overdoing the sense of occasion or the need for cheesy sentiment. And it’s the perfect antidote to the endless replays of Slade and Cliff Richard that dominate this time of year.

Track listing:

  1. Whatever Happened To Christmas?
  2. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
  3. Christmastime
  4. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  5. You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
  6. Winter Wonderland
  7. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  8. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  9. White Christmas
  10. Calling On Mary