2004: The Stereo Society SS006

  1. Snowfolk
  2. Space Age Solstice
  3. Miracles Can Happen
  4. Georgia
  5. Itchy Fingers
  6. Snowslide
  7. Happy Holidays
  8. Dreidle Jingle Fiasco
  9. Holiday Office Party
  10. Lullaby (For Ruby)
  11. Xmas Ain’t Coming This Year
  12. Snowjob

“Miracles Can Happen” is just fascinatingly strange beyond words! I honestly am not sure if it’s intended as a Prozac-induced optimistic haze or just what, but under the spaced-out singing is a tasty instrumental spiced with some nice lazy twang right to the end (with a side-trip into gospel). “Holiday Office Party” (introduced with a coke-snort) is cut from the same cloth, musically, but the lyric is depressing as hell!! Actually, most of the album’s outlook is pretty dark…but it’s quite nice despite that.

I’m always surprised by the fulsome sensuality BETTY taps now and then, such as on “Itchy Fingers” here and “Picnic Love Affair” on Hello BETTY…it’s so intense, almost pungent, and there’s always more of it than I’m initially ready for. It’s fun, just a little startlingly frank at first.

I didn’t expect to like “Xmas Ain’t Coming This Year,” as its lyrics are pretty maudlin, but it’s quite a strong recording and benefits greatly from Alyson Palmer’s lead vocal and Amy Ziff’s cello.

The slight but (to me) painful detuned harmonies which are the one persistent fly in BETTY’s ointment are alas here in force on the a capella numbers. “Space Age Solstice” is the only other misstep on Snowbiz (well, there’s also the bizarre and unnecessary final track, best ignored), which is overall a surprisingly enjoyable if unhappy album.