Miniature super group (well, duo) do a Christmas album - quite frankly this could potentially be an absolute career nose dive but for Smith & Burrows, this is pretty much the opposite; a real gem. Editors' Tom Smith and ex-Razorlight and We Are Scientists musician Andy Burrows' festive themed album that track lists originals alongside covers, grew out of a couple of collaborative cover versions as the first time Smith has collaborated with anyone other than his own band.
Funny Looking Angels opens with a very slow and atmospheric version of the first verse of the carol 'In The Bleak Midwinter' over a pedal organ note which builds itself into an epic conclusion with Coldplay-esque layers of orchestration including of course a chiming festive glockenspiel. The single 'When The Thames Froze' opens with an echoing piano accompaniment to Tom Smith's distinctive low, icy, cold and lonely vocals. The tracks' accompaniment then builds with layers of Salvation Army Band-esque brass and swooping strings underpinned by a military snare to push into a moving and hopeful, powerful chorused vocal chorus. The dominance of the piano continues through 'As The Snowflakes Fall', this time beneath Burrows' Badly Drawn Boy-like meandering folky vocals throughout this atmospheric down-tempo ballad that's ridden with layers of vocal harmony.
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