As I've said before, making original Christmas music is an extremely challenging feat. I mean, nothing can beat those classic tracks we all know and love! "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "Silent Night" are some of my favorites, as the sheer nostalgia that goes along with those tracks others is undeniable for myself, regardless if I celebrated Hanukkah more as a child.
For a bit of an anecdote, one of my favorite classical progressive rock bands, The Moody Blues, fell off majorly in quality after their first seven or eight releases. Their *16th* and final album, "December" released in 2003, is (you guessed it) an original Christmas album, and as you can assume, it's very mediocre. To go along with this example, there is a scary realization that exists in all artists making holiday records: these projects come at times of incapable originality that takes hold when an artist is pulling at every option. Why is Poppy making this now? Is her winning streak over? What is her artistic fate now?
Look, maybe I'm reading into this a bit much, but I care about her progression too much to give up.
Original Christmas songs just don't stand a chance, and I think it's the inherent bias that makes original holiday tracks with corny lyrics and simplistic progressions all the more unbearable. The funny thing about that is, "Silver Bells", the only non-original song on this EP, is the best song here! I just find that so funny, and I felt the need to voice my opinions once more on this exceedingly ironic topic.
Now for this four track group, Poppy takes a stripped-back vocal and instrumental approach compared to her other projects. I'll be honest when I say that it's jarring to hear a more subdued and subtle delivery, juxtaposing some of my favorite songs from her altogether. The tracks themselves aren't inherently bad or unbearable per se, but the songwriting on the first three songs leaves a lot to be desired. Ironically, if this were an entire covers EP, I'd be more satisfied; the lyricism on the original tracks is just so hollow, one-note, and shallow.
This is nothing like her last record, I'll give it that. But hey, I think she's allowed to make something like this after releasing one of my favorite records of the year.