Songs For Christmas
Sufjan Stevens has been recording Christmas songs since 2001, and these have trickled out annually, but for the first time they are collected in a (rather gorgeously packaged set). So, if you're in any way a sucker for Christmas music and you also recognise Sufjan Stevens as one of the best singer-songwriters around, this has already sold itself.
Stevens has a Christian orientation normally, with a distinctive, almost baroque, musical approach, and the reworking of carols and standards is lovely. However, the set of 5 EPs really comes alive with the new songs, such as That Was The Worst Christmas Ever and Sister Winter. At a time when every Christmas seems to mean George Michael and Slade get an airing, it is wonderful to hear new, immediately seasonal music.
Is this something that people who haven't previously been Sufjan fans should get? That probably depends on your disposition to Christmas music generally. But, your intellectual soul will be a lot better fed by this collection rather than Now That's What I Call Christmas.