Real Country Music
Merry Ex-Mas (Songs For The Divorced and Soon to Be)
3.5 out of 5
See Ya Santa, Christmas Every Single Day, Santa Claus is Foolin’ Around, Frosty My Ex-Wife, I’m Taking Back My Name Dear, Let Her Go, Single Gals, A Lot Like Ex-Mas, 12 Days Of Christmas (My True Love Took From Me), Hark The Hell Has Just Begun
Producers: Fred Bogert, Mike Reid, Will Robinson
Merry Ex-Mas Records
If the title alone is not enough to grab your attention, consider that the concept for this CD began as one of the producers, Will Robinson, was going through a divorce. A fine recipe for good music, I thought, while reading the press release. I’ll admit I hurried to the player anxious to find misery and rawness exposed. But I instead found an arguably happy disc.
Yes, it should have been obvious to anyone reading the song titles that the record would be a play on familiar classics. For example, “Let Her Go” reworks “Let It Snow” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” has evolved into “Santa Claus Is Foolin’ Around”. That being the case, re-working familiar classics, presents certain confines for the writers. To stay within the framework of the originals allows for some forced rhymes as you might expect. Most noticeably in “Hark the Hell Has Just Begun” which starts with “she has lawyers 10 feet deep” and “there’s no earthly way of defending depositions in my sleep” soon offers “years and years of alimony......I’ll be living on bologna.”
But at the same time, these hurdles lend something else to the disc...a degree of the theatrical. With such familiar refrains coming from the stereo, I could see how live in a theater, these performances would make for a fun evening. An evening of some pure laughs and some groans but an evening that at the end you feel better than you did before. And I’m sure they served the same use for Robinson as he, Mike Reid, and Don Pfimmer created most of the tracks. (Of course, some readers might recognize the names of Robinson, Reid, and Pfimmer who have collectively written 47 #1 tracks.)
And for those afraid that the disc would be one sided, rest assured it is not. Men and Women get bashed equally. “Frosty My Ex-Wife” obviously goes after an ex-wife, but its attack on the other gender is matched if not surpassed in “Single Gals” where a recent ex states how grateful she is that she no longer has to pretend “four inches is eight”. Blows (sorry) are traded back and forth throughout the disc, albeit at times along somewhat stereotypical lines, and equal perspective is achieved.
Surprisingly, perhaps, fun probably best describes the disc. Not particularly Country, but fun...... And yes, ......a bit campy, but again, fun.