Twelve days of completely secular yuletide: Nat King Cole will warm your exam-wearied soul

To get your exam-riddled brains full of the holiday spirit, The Ubyssey is prescribing a healthy, 12-day course of ridiculous music reviews. Enjoy, you poor souls!

Today, I am writing and there is actually snow falling outside… and we’re in Vancouver. I think on a day like this, even if I wasn’t sitting here writing this album review, I would still be listening to Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song. If you listen to this album and don’t get overcome with a wave of nostalgia, then I don’t know where your childhood went. Released in 1960, this is an album that many of our parents grew up listening to and passed on to us during the winter seasons. In fact, it was said to be the biggest Christmas album of the 60s and I’d argue it is still in the top rankings today.

The album is filled with classic sounds of crooning carolers and powerful string ensembles. You’ll hear a lot of jazzy scatting and every lyric will be perfectly pronounced. It opens with the eponymous “The Christmas Song.” Immediately, you’ll feel warmed by your imaginary fireplace when you hear the familiar line, “chestnuts roasting on an open fire.”  Cole’s smooth and soothing voice takes you on a journey which reminds us that the holiday season is a time to spread love. You’ll even hear a blend of German and Latin in some songs, suggesting that all different kinds of people can come together this time of year.

The album ranges from upbeat tunes like “All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth),” to soulful ballads like “O Holy Night.” Whichever song, the album is bound to put you in an uplifted mood. A truly classic Christmas album if you ever needed one to set the tone for the holiday festivities.