De­cem­ber PIAS ★★★

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSICREVIEWS - JIM CAR­ROLL

There’s con­sid­er­able irony in the fact that re­lease sched­ules are now chock­ablock with al­ter­na­tive Christ­mas al­bums recorded to off­set the glut of tra­di­tional ones. When it comes to foist­ing sea­sonal sounds on us whether we like it or not, an al­bum from Bel­gium’s Steven and Stijn Kolacny and their all-fe­male choir is prob­a­bly a safe bet. The ensem­ble has a proven track record with spooky hym­nal takes on alt rock hits. Here they fo­cus their vo­cal chords on turn­ing Joni Mitchell’s River, Sarah McLach­lan’s Win­ter­song, The Pre­tenders’ 2000 Miles, Damien Rice’s Eskimo, Prince’s When Doves Cry and oth­ers into Scala- friendly Yule­tide odes. Some­times this works ( 2000 Miles has never sounded as ethe­real as this), though they are less suc­cess­ful with Suf­jan Stevens’s It’s Christ­mas! Let’s Be Glad. Be glad for small mer­cies: at least Wham’s Last Christ­mas isn’t here. scala­ Down­load tracks: 2000 Miles, River

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