You gotta love a chick who rearranges "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" to mimic Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama." That's how jazz/folk/adult-alternative singer/songwriter Jacqui Naylor kicks off her new holiday CD, and it just gets better from there. Next comes "Santa Baby" sung to the groove of Zeppelin's "D'yer Mak'er," "We Three Kings" proceeding with riffs from "When the Levee Breaks," "Silver Bells" ringing to The Police's "Every Breath You Take" and "What Child Is This" shuffling with "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You." The cleverly titled Smashed for the Holidays incorporates Naylor's voice on holiday standards while her band plays well-known classic-rock songs — "smashing" the music into something completely original. The result is a mind-altering listening experience with huge crossover potential.
Naylor, whose deep vocals often pass for those of a man, also includes some smash-free originals here, as well as a jazzy take on "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)", "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in 5/4 time and a relaxed version of "Father Christmas." But it is her clever twisting of holiday and rock classics — note to Jacqui: Less Zeppelin next time, please — that makes Smashed for the Holidays one of the must-hear albums of the season.
1) Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
2) Santa Baby
3) Celebrate Early and Often
4) Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
5) What Child is This
6) Thank You Baby
7) We Three Kings
8) The Christmas Song
10) Father Christmas
11) Silver Bells
12) Christmas Ain't What It Used to Be
13) Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas