Mormon Tabernacle and the Muppets from Sesame Street- More

The Hill in Mind
Christmas, Hill in Mind!


This eclectic, Tempe, Arizona-based indie folk band brings forth their first holiday offering, and what a doozy it is! Opening cut "CHiM" is an instrumental that mixes surf, spy and Middle Eastern sounds while "Huron Carol," an old hymn about the arrival of baby Jesus, features vocals that are nearly whispered and set to a trippy soundtrack that would not have been out of place on an album like the Grateful Dead's Aoxomoxoa. "What I'm Giving This Year" is a humorous spoken word piece over a jazz jam but the band does turn in one fairly straight cover to wrap-up the 5-song EP; a slow and dreamy take on "Auld Lang Syne."

"Love the Coopers" Motion Picture Official Soundtrack
(Various Artists)


Not every track here is holiday-related; examples include Nina Simone's take on the Bee Gees "To Love Somebody" and a couple of Bob Dylan oldies. Most of the album is seasonally-oriented though, with the big draw being a new Robert Plant/Alison Krauss collaboration: the delicate and slightly twangy "The Light of Christmas Day" that features the pair singing in harmony throughout. Among the others contributing Christmas cheer are Sixpence None the Richer, Sting, Fleet Foxes, Otis Redding and the Dodos.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra with Santino Fontana and the Muppets from Sesame Street
Keep Christmas With You

Intellectual Reserve

This generous 70-minute offering from the vaunted vocalists and players of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra is presented in several distinct segments, beginning with "Sing a Christmas Carol" from "Scrooge" and the first appearance from the Muppets in the middle of "Merry, Merry Christmas." A medley of "The Candy Man" and "Pocketful of Miracles" is performed before the "A Classical Christmas" segment begins with instrumental cut "Marche Miniature." "Sesame Street Medley" introduces the Muppets-happy segment, complete with a Cookie Monster appearance on "People in Your Neighborhood." Santino Fontana (Frozen) is the Muppets' foil throughout, singing and conversing with the gang, and they eventually get back to the Christmas spirit with "The Twelve Days of Christmas," "Everyone Who Likes Christmas Say, 'I Do!'" and others. The family-friendly show ends with a rousing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."

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