Various Artists

‘Tis The Season To Be Fearless

The only thing worse than a superfluous Christmas compilation is a superfluous Christmas comp with mostly originaltracks, so it’s an early holiday treat to find that ‘Tis The Season To Be Fearlessavoids both of these Yuletide pitfalls. The label’s new foray into the jolly old genre surprisingly goes a long way toward promoting the talents of its roster, thanks to inspired songwriting and sparkling production throughout. If there’s any coal in this stocking, it’s that there are only eight tracks.

For All Those Sleeping kick things off with “Maybe This Christmas,” a tasty little pop-punker that fuses All-American Rejects hooks with New Found Glory riffs, with an A Day To Remember-style breakdown for good measure. The Maine grab the baton next with the previously released “Ho Ho Hopefully,” a nuanced, largely acoustic affair showcasing rich vocal harmonies, then the album hits a breathtaking peak with the only traditional Christmas song on the release: Go Radio’s epic, mind-blowingly beautiful rendition of “O Holy Night,” which moves from serene piano passages to crushing orchestral chords with startling ease and mastery. Not just fan-friendly, truly electric moments like “Night,” ditto the guitar-laden “Christmas Brings Me Down” by Sparks The Rescue and Amely’s Jimmy Eat World-a-riffic “Christmas Time Again,” are sure to send the uninitiated scrambling to these bands’ MySpace pages to hear more. That makes for a very Merry Christmas, indeed.


Go Radio’s “O Holy Night”