The Goo Goo Dolls have released what is described in the press pack as their, “…first-ever Christmas album”. This seems to imply that it may not be their last. The question is, therefore, would I like a second Christmas album from them or is one enough? No spoilers… you’ll need to read the review to find out
The album is named It’s Christmas All Over and the song by the same name (written by Tom Petty) is the first track. It’s a great opening. I would say that you should watch it and if you like it, you’ll probably enjoy the album too, but that would not be entirely fair to the Goo Goo Dolls or to this album. It’s not that this song is entirely unrepresentative of the rest of the album; it shares the same high production values; the same musicianship and the same Christmasiness (if that’s a word) with the rest of the album, but each track has something different to recommend it. For example, you can go from pretty classic rendition of “Let it Snow”, to an extremely, mellow “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, to the out and out schmaltz-fest of “Better Days”. What I’m saying is, you shouldn’t judge the album by its Tom Petty cover.
The three standout songs for me are:
“Shake Hands With Santa Claus” which has a cool upright bass intro, a festive big band feel and a wonderfully lazy-trumpet solo;
“You Ain’t Getting Nothin’” which makes me feel that it’s cool to be a Christmas cat! I especially like the call and response sections that I would love to join in with live… but can’t this year – curse you COVID Christmas!
“The Christmas Party” which is the favourite of my favourites! A fun live feel at the end the album with hot sax belting out a Christmas medley. I want to be at that party this Christmas.
The question I posed in the opening paragraph: “…would I like a second Christmas album from them?”, I’m answering with a cautious, “Yes”. This “first-ever Christmas album” plays it a bit too safe at times (for example, with “Let It Snow”) but there is enough good stuff for it to find it’s way into my Christmas playlist. If subsequent Christmas albums from the Goo Goo Dolls have more tracks like “You Ain’t Getting Nothin'” then I’d be in like Santa!
It’s Christmas All Over Track-Listing
Christmas All Over Again
Shake Hands With Santa Claus
This Is Christmas
Christmas Don’t Be Late
You Ain’t Getting Nothin’
Let It Snow
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
The Christmas Party (Feat. The Union Square 5)
Don’t wait for Santa to bring you a Goo Goo Doll (that’ll talk and will go for a walk) but get this album now and look forward Christmas Future when you can join the Goo Goo Doll Christmas Party in person!