By Ryan Pike
It’s often said that the holiday season is all about commercialism. With the annual re-release of cookie-cutter Christmas albums, it’s hard to argue with that notion. Whatever the rationale behind Relient K’s latest holiday album, you can’t knock a system that works.
Let It Snow Baby, Let It Reindeer is an update of Relient K’s 2003 Deck the Halls, Bruise Your Hand, adding seven new tracks to the previous offering. The resulting disc is a mix of traditional holiday fare presented with a punk rock slant and original songs written by Relient K vocalist Matt Theissen. Throughout much of the album, the mixture works well–the band’s take on the classics imbues them with a nice energy that makes them seem fresh. Unfortunately, Theissen’s songs too often fall into the piano-based ballad category, at times stalling out the energy of the album. “I Hate Christmas Parties” does this, despite being a fine song.
Holiday albums too often are recorded by artists looking for a quick buck and come across as horribly half-assed. If Relient K’s revamped holiday album is a cash grab, at least the group appears to be using their entire ass. For the most part, Let It Snow Baby, Let It Reindeer is an energetic album that would be well-suited to playing in the background at your Christmas party.