Chris Kamara made a Christmas album and I have to review it. Fuck sake man.
The album is called Here’s to Christmas, a toast that nobody has ever made except in irony after the grand ‘I HATE YOU ALL’ finale of the Brexit-themed Christmas dinner argument. If you’ve ever listened to Michael Bublé’s Christmas album, ‘Christmas’, and thought ‘not bad but needs more Middlesbrough’, this is the album for you.
The lead single from the album is called – yeah – Here’s to Christmas. It starts with sleigh bells and a dainty piano tinkle. Then the jazz drum riff that perforates the entire album fades in, and in his ey-up accent Chris Kamara reels through some typical festive imagery with all the poetry of a newly-divorced dad scrawling a quick list of essentials to grab from Tesco Extra before his estranged children arrive for Christmas dinner: balls and lights, candles, sprigs of holly, turkey, wine, bows (?).
Santa Baby is both a high point and a low point – balancing out as simply ‘a point’. Sounding just on the right side of binned, Chris Kamara croons his way through the racy Christmas number with a wry smile in his voice. Is a 61-year old man telling Santa he’s been a very good boy all year nauseating? Yes, obviously. Will you shudder as Chris Kamara suggestively asks St Nicholas to ‘trim his Christmas tree’ and you realise he can only mean either his moustache or his wiry pubic bush? Yes. Does the line ‘think of all the ladies that I haven’t kissed’ suddenly sound less sexy and more ‘involuntarily celibate’ when sung in Kamara’s earthy tones? Of course.
To be honest, the album is annoyingly fine. I wanted to hate it. I wanted to laugh and laugh with my hands wrapped around my belly. But I have listened to the whole damn thing three times through by now (it’s November fs), and the only criticisms I could really level at it are ‘I can’t handle this much jazz’ and ‘he sounds like he’s got a hot potato in his mouth on a couple of tracks’.
Not that this review matters. Football-liking dads will flock to this album, they will run to it. It’s happening already:
“Totally unexpected and totally amazing. Jingle Bells sounds incredible and Kammy really can sing. Got the Christmas card edition as my wife loves Kammy! And the kids want their own ones now. Hope I can find the Christmas card separately but if not I’ll buy the album again three times – it’s actually that good. What a stocking filler!!!”
– Cubic cynic36, Amazon Reviews
Cubic cynic36 – who already owns this album once on CD – is going to buy this album again for his entire family: Christmas morn arrives and the children excitedly flock downstairs to the tree where a mound of sparkling gifts are piled high, and one by one they take their packages and sit on the sofa, and Mum comes down in her dressing gown looking charming, and Dad comes over and plants a kiss on her cheek, “Merry Christmas babe, I love you,”; she smiles at him as he hands her her gift, and as one the family opens their presents; wrapping paper is torn and thrown over shoulders, beaming faces and giddy laughter, Dad watching in anticipation, and finally the little’un has got his present – he holds it up – it’s Chris Kamara’s album, Here’s to Christmas.
Then, like a row of dominoes, other newly-unsheathed presents are held aloft; they are all Chris Kamara’s new Christmas album, Here’s to Christmas. Mum looks from baffled child to baffled child, then finally to Dad, who stands there, arms folded, grinning. He nods at the present in her hands. “Go on love, open it!” With a bemused frown she strips the wrapping paper, revealing clean-shaven football pundit Christopher Kamara, leering toothily out from the cover of Chris Kamara’s new Christmas album: Here’s to motherfucking Christmas.