The Boy Least Likely To | Christmas Special (+1)

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I’m convinced more than ever that this band isn’t for me.

 
The twee indie rockers’ full-length homage to Christmas begins with a song that can only be called “rollicking.” What sounds like a banjo (or perhaps a ukulele) is plucked in a very carefree and upbeat way as the band harmonizes on “Blue Spruce Needles,” begging the question, “If Christmas is about being together/ then how can it be Christmas if we are apart?”This sentiment repeats on “Christmas Isn’t Christmas” (“Christmas isn’t Christmas without you”saw that one coming, didn’t you?). True to its title, track three, “The Christmas Waltz,” is a wordless (pointless?) waltz clocking in just under two minutes.
The fragile “The First Snowflake” gives way to the bell-laden “George and Andrew.” It’s at this point when, if you’re not already a fan of the band, Jof Owen’s whispered vocals may begin to grow tiresome. Hang on, though, because on the upbeat “Happy Christmas Baby” he puts forth a bit more oomph. I dig the jingle bells that kick off “I Can’t Make It Snow”; the song utilizes other interesting instrumentation, as well. Up next is another instrumental track, this one entitled “In the Bleak Midwinter.” (I always wonder how people come up with names for lyric-less tracks, and this is no exception.)
I’m inclined to sort “Jingle My Bells” into the “upbeat twee” barrel. After the slight “Little Donkey”—which sounds as if it’s introduced by a recorder (remember, that crappy little woodwind we were all forced to play in grade school?), “The Wassail Song” brings it all home with a return to the rollicking. This one’s a cover of the classic, albeit one run through the odd little Boy Least Likely To filter.
I’m a Christmas music connoisseur; even bands I’d normally not be caught dead listening to find their way onto my holiday playlist. In the case of The Boy Least Likely To, though, I’m convinced more than ever that this band isn’t for me; not even its holiday record holds my interest. C- | Laura Hamlett

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