The Killers: Don’t Waste Your Wishes

Score: 1/10 – Don’t waste your time.
It’s a known fact that adding sleigh bells to rock music will only end in disaster. I reckon I could count on one finger the number of actual bonafide Christmas songs that are genuinely good (Kirsty McCall & The Pogues’ “Fairytale in New York” in case you were wondering). So why do otherwise perfectly respectable musicians feel compelled to get all festively crap?
Charity, obviously. That seems to be the get-out-of-jail-free card for all of these Chrimbo spinoffs, and in this case, the Vegas indie quartet are helping out Bono with his (RED) project that aims to eradicate AIDs in Africa. Something they have actually been doing for a good few years now, releasing an annual holiday charity single. Don’t Waste Your Wishes brings together those singles, plus the unreleased track “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”, which sees frontman Brandon Flowers duetting with his old school teacher Ned Humphrey Hansen in a particularly saccharine moment on an album full of them. The proceeds from the LP will then be donated to (RED).
All admirable stuff. Well done fellas, AIDs sucks and good on y’all for bunging some cash to the cause. But really, does this mean the music has to be so god-awful? “I wanna wish you Merry Christmas, ho ho ho”, sings Flowers on opener “A Great Big Sled”. His Orbison-esque voice is commanding enough to juuuuust about pull off such a cringey line, but still, no no no.
A smattering of guest stars including Neil Tennant, Ryan Pardey and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel on the laboured “Joel the Lump of Coal” do little to improve proceedings and here’s why: We’ve already got Christmas songs thank you very much. They are sung by choirs either on ancient CDs or live, during awkward moments on your doorstep. They have titles like “White Christmas” and “Jingle Bells”. They’ve been tried and tested over many years, so every year when you have to dig out the baubles and untangle the tree lights, you know all you have to do is stick on ‘Christmas Classics” and begrudgingly enjoy. Not this. Anything but this.
Dan Ashcroft
Like this? Try these:
My Morning Jacket
Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches
Surprisingly brilliant festive EP from beardy Kentuckian combo.
A Christmas With Weezer
LA rockers deliver Christmas cheer loaded with a sleighful of irony.
Larry Branson
An Orbison Christmas
Bootleg compilation of Christmas songs from Orbison impersonator. Truly as awful as it sounds.


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