Beliefnet
Idol Chatter

Did someone say Christmas albums? One of my many failed ventures is the Annual Roundup of Tolerable Christmas Music, which ran on Beliefnet precisely one annum. For one thing, I found out there’s not enough tolerable Christmas music released each year to round up. (The other thing? I’m lazy.) Let me take this opportunity to clear my only regret: not alerting the world in 2004 to “Joulu” (“Yule”), an album by the Finnish jazz vocal group Ragaton. That the album is completely in Finnish, including the liner notes, only increases the pleasure of this pure escape from mallbound Christmas. I guarantee the Finnish tunes will become your favorites, but for those who must have the stuffing out of the box, they do mum “Jingle Bells,” Mel Torme’s “Christmas Song,” and “Silent Night,” At first you’ll try to sing along, before letting the fleeting Finnish lyrics just flow over you.

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