Saturday, December 04, 2010

CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN Day 4: What Child Is This, Anyway? (Sufjan Stevens)

SONG: What Child Is This, Anyway?
ARTIST: Sufjan Stevens
ALBUM: Songs For Christmas, Vol. 2
AVAILABILITY: CD/MP3 (5-pack of EPs)

Sufjan originally recorded this (and the rest of his Christmas EPs) as a gift for his family & friends, which makes the production and overall quality pretty impressive. Despite the slightly irreverent title of this track, it's a very classy and haunting take on the traditional song, with the only major differences being an odd chord here and there. It takes on a trance-like, mystical feel. My favorite thing about it is probably the tone used on the guitar (or whatever instrument that is, you never know with him).  For some reason, it reminds me of the music that comes out of the speakers of those various terrible electronic Christmas decorations I've seen over the years, like electromagnetic skating rinks and animatronic choir boy dolls. And if that's not haunting, I don't know what is.

And uh, it also reminds me of the cave music from Yoshi's Island.

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