Neil Sedaka's Christmas Album squeaks with good tidings

Categories: CD Review
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How could we resist? Neil Sedaka in his sexual prime.

On the cover of his double-disc Christmas album, Neil Sedaka stands in the pinched, clenched posture of a man who's recently been neutered, and his tense underbite and bugging eyes seem to suggest a face lift gone bad, as if his hide has been stretched over a cranium just a hair too broad.

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Neil Sedaka-- last known photograph.

The album itself is the very sound of spiced egg nog. The kind of album your parents put on after the holiday party, cocktail glasses drying in the strainer, a DuraLog setting the den aglow with its artificial flame. It opens with the maudlin, bittersweet moments that make Christmas shopping at the Mall an even more depressive, stressed affair. Neil Sedaka alone in New York City. Neil Sedaka giving a Christmas prayer to the pitiable poor. Neil Sedaka... God only knows. Lying nude on a bearskin rug? Anything, in his castrati alto, is plausible.

The stand-out track of the first disc is "Christmas 'Round The World," in which Sedaka issues tidings of good will in a variety of languages, revealing a strange fixation on the axis powers of World War II. In a lilting string, he wishes us all a Merry Christmas in Italian, German, and Japanese, even going so far as to say "Give peace a chance, old Italy." Suspecting Sedaka might have known something I didn't, I made a quick check of the news sites, and found that, indeed, Italy has been at civil peace for some years now, and his Wikipedia page mentions no military service during the second Great War. His grudge, and his mediation of phantom conflicts, make the song's peacekeeping mission an absurd pleasure.

Who purchases this album? Well, Neil Sedaka completists, certainly. But who else? Gimme Noise doesn't have access to the in-depth demographics. But we do have access to our own prejudicial forecasting. And we're betting everyone in the picture below owns this album.

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