By JOHN DALY
During 2017, at least in the U.S., when a glimmer of hope has emerged from the darkness, the people have felt empowered.
We’ve endured a tough political year, the deaths of some of our most inspiring musicians and weather gone awry.
The Christmas Hearts Club Band hit the mark on the chorus of the new holiday song, “Merry Christmas Everyone” but the verses take the wind out of the sails on this holiday single. A Christmas song a-la-“Benefit of Mr. Kite” just doesn’t cut it.
UK-based Diego Guzman, (AKA Lost Nomad) who assembled the project, is brimming with musical talent. His other songs are either electronic dance songs or cool rock. This is a truly diverse musician with a positive tone. And his band is a smiling, upbeat crew of musicians.
On “Merry Christmas Everyone,” the voices, the keyboards and overall production are strong, there is no lack of effort or talent. If one were to remove any Christmas reference in this song and change the words around to address a different topic, this would be a very cool work indeed. And yes, the song is reminicent of the Beatles’ trippy period towards the end of the Sgt. Pepper era. Not particularly my favorite time in the Beatles’ illustrious history.
The positive about the song is the catchy upbeat hook that emerges out of the depths of the tinkling downbeat tones and black keys which overpower the song.
“Merry Christmas Everyone” starts out with Guzman’s impressive voice, a few single piano tones and some notes from the guitar. Cymbals on the drum kit roll on in as the chorus swells. There just is something about singing words like “…While the children are overwhelmed with joy …” against a descending melody of minor notes. While the lyrics wish everyone a great year, the downer trippy environment defeats the purpose.
At a run time of 4:27, the song could lose the last minute or so and no one would notice, as the song takes yet another ambitious but left-hand turn when a classical string section is introduced at the 3:23 mark. The song wraps up with the strong chorus.
Not everyone should write a Christmas song and not every Christmas song has to be upbeat. The chorus is the savior of this work. Guzman’s New Year’s resolution should be to rework the song so the great chorus is more prominent, cut the length and then and apply himself to some new projects.
Artist Name: Christmas Hearts Club Band
Location: Manchester, UK
Release Name: Merry Christmas Everyone
Release Date: Oct 09, 2017
Producer: Charles Foskett
Merry Christmas Everyone
Session musicians on the recording:
Marty Craggs – Vocals / Maracas
India Foskett – Vocals
Diego Guzman – Guitar / Bass Guitar (songwriter and project owner)
Dezal Martin – Slide Guitar / Acoustic Guitar
Charles Foskett – Guitar / Piano / String and Drum Programming
Ian Robertson – Violins