REVIEW: Jingle Spells 4

 

 

 

[Thank you for visiting The Wrock Snob and reading this article! I’d love for you to jump right into the reviewy goodness, but first there is some unfortunate business to take care of. It is not in my nature to tell you specifically what or what not to buy and who to support – I tell you what I thought about an album, and if my tastes seem to align with yours, you might want to heed my suggestions. However, I must take this time to personally exhort that you do not monetarily support the bands The Remus Lupins or Ministry of Magic. The full reasons are unsettling and possibly triggering, so please proceed with caution, but if you want the full details click here. Simply put, it has been revealed that certain member/s of both bands did destructive, upsetting, and highly problematic things. While I can see the value of reviewing art no matter what the artist did on a grand society-level scale, I cannot morally allow myself to condone the financial support of these monsters, nonetheless exhorting people to do so. Now it is entirely possible this copypasta’d retroactive warning was placed on a negative review, making this sidebar somewhat moot, but I still feel it necessary to make these matters clear. Again, for full details and rumination click here, otherwise, please enjoy the article.]

Here it is, for reals this time!

A couple quick notes before we jump in: the composition of this album made even reviewing it in the first place a little tricky – while my whole point of being here is that I feel the larger bands should and can take whatever I dish out at them, I am absolutely NOT here to negatively review small bands that are just doing shit for fun, or are just starting out.  However, this album is chock full of smaller bands, which puts me in a tricky position.  If I review them with brutal honesty, that would be a real jerk move, but if I just mumble platitudes at them, it invalidates everything else I say.

Eventually I decided that since the winning submissions were picked by Paul DeGeorge and Melissa Anelli, they feel you are good enough to be on this album, so you are good enough to be reviewed by me.  Thus, if you feel angry about what I say about you, blame Paul or Melissa, aight?

Oh, and I started out this review trying to keep my opinion on each song to just about the length of two or three tweets.  It ended up being… well, you’ll see.  Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls – “Out in the Cold, Wild, Yonder”: Very very pretty, almost breathtakingly so, but not overly… interesting.  It’s the “Secret of Kells” of holiday-themed wizard rock songs – pretty and even engaging at times, but ultimately lacking a point or focus.  Nevertheless, it’s the sort of song to put on and zone out watching the snowflakes drift down.  A brilliant way to open the album, and a nice cap on Christian’s wizard rock career.

Harry and the Potters – “When Bellatrix Came Over for Xmas/What?!”: I absolutely love how meta Harry and the Potters have managed to get over the years without ever leaving their character – see the fantastic “The Economics of the Wizarding World Don’t Make Sense”.  This song is fun, fast, and furious.  And fshort.  Very fshort.  Also, it’s nice to hear that sax being used again.  Lastly, it’s a jarring but effective bridge from the previous song.

Kwikspell – “Yuletide Anthem”: I’m consistently impressed out how much like a full band Kwikspell is able to make herself appear.  It’s a light, rather catchy song.  However, Kwik does sound rather congested, and while it’s only really noticeable if your familiar with her other work, which the majority of people who buy this album won’t be, it’d still be nice if germs didn’t exist.  Though it’s a good thing that bacteria exists.  They keeps us alive!

Draco and the Malfoys – “A Gift for Lucius”: Inanely satisfying.  Almost determinedly stupid, but in a good way.  The breakdown with some robot-ish voice going “Draco and the Malfoys, Dr-dr-draco and the Malfoys” is just damn funny.  I really don’t mean “stupid” in a bad way, I just can’t think of a better word to describe what I think.  I really really like this track.  I just wanted to write the mini-review of this song without using the word “fun”… Shit.

Siriusly Hazza P – “Baubles and Butterbeer”: Siriusly Hazza P have been around for a long time, and it’s nice to see them get their due.  On twitter, Whompy described them as Riddle TM + Moaning Myrtles, but I think that’s a bit simplistic (and yes I am begrudging a 140-character review of a piece of music for being too simplistic).  I would put them in a class by themselves.  Not saying that any vocalist is better than the other, but I think it’s time we stop using the same three or four bands as shorthand for describing a good female vocal performance.  What about Romilda Vane and the Chocolate Cauldrons or The Hermione Crookshanks Experience?  Or Hermione and the House Elves or The Butterbeer Experience or The HMS Wolfstar?  Anyway, the girls of Siriusly Hazza P have siriusly good voices (don’t punch me), and a musical sound that’s like… if you mixed Riddle TM with something more upbeat like… The Moaning Myrtles. Damn it.

Seen and Unforeseen – “Voldemort’s Secret Santa”: Darkly humorous with a very claustrophobic feel to it sonically.  One of the best tracks on the album, and it once again proves the rule that just because you haven’t heard of them (as I hadn’t) doesn’t mean they’re not worth a listen.  Very clever lyrical content.  Seriously, the only slightly negative thing I can say about this song is the fact that I prefer “Ah-vaw[as in odd]-dah” to “Ah-vah[as in apples]-dah”.  And that’s so nitpicky it’s just silly.

The Whomping Willows – “I Want a New Song for Christmas”: META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK HEY IT SOUNDS LIKE A TYPE OF POKEMON META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK META-WROCK

The Whomping Willows – “I Want a New Song for Christmas” [For Realsies]: Wait, you’re saying that it’s a strong, rocking acoustic Whomping Willows song that pokes fun at his musical career and how meta he’s gotten, and the entire idea of meta-wrock in the first place, while still plausibly staying in character as magical tree that sometimes somehow plays shows at Hogwarts and makes no explicit mention about anything muggle except for Jingle Spells, which is published by a magical pub, so it’s okay?

Solitary Snape – “Funky Xmas”: It’s dorky as hell and that’s why I love it.  What the hell is this one, a tweet?  Whatevs.  It’s intentionally sillly and stupid, and that makes it fun.  Also, when people wonder why I don’t like Cedric Diggory, it’s because this is pretty much EXACTLY what he seemed like in my mind.  Yeah.  #WheresYourSparklyVampireNow #DidIJustUseAHashtagInABlogPost #WhatTheHell

The Honeyduke’s Cellar Gang – “The Unexpected Christmas Card”: The Ginny-Percy relationship.  WHAT THE HELL?  How has no one even touched this before?  I never even considered it all, much less in terms of fertile grounds for a moving wizard rock song.  I especially like the line “I know you are off doing the important things you do” – it makes for a very interesting angle to Percy – one of sisterly love and respect, bordering on distant adoration.  Really, the entire series Percy is looked down upon, and for good measure, but I can totally see how his much, much younger sister would look up to him, and assume that he was doing dreadfully important things, and would buy into his boasting.  Fred and George are too different in personality and too close to him in age, and Ron looks up to Fred and George because everyone likes them, so he adopts the same attitude towards Percy.  But I can totally see Ginny making the decision for herself (when she’s younger, obviously), and buying into Percy’s view of himself.  Of course, she saw through the bullshit when she got older, but hey, whaddyagonnado?  So, this has barely focused on the song at all, but the fact that the song made me think about the characters and the canon in a way I had never considered is always a very, very good song.  So, lyrically, it’s nothing short of excellent.  And musically, it’s vocally very pretty and instrumentally about as interesting as an acoustic guitar at this tempo can get.

The Veelas – “Hogwarts Lullaby”: Wizard rock and the harry potter fandom in general has parodied a lot of things from songs to books to movies to plays to even world event and politics.  But this is the first time that I have ever come across a Harry Potter parody of a prayer.  AND THAT’S

However, the rest of the song is… well it’s really damn pretty, but it has nothing discernible to do with Christmas.  Now, this isn’t the first time there’s been one of these on a Jingle Spells – there was “A Mandrake’s Carol” on JS2, but I think that was a parody of some Christmas carol or another.  Maybe this song is a carol or hymn parody, and I am just ignorant.  Or maybe this clever rundown of the beasties of the Harry Potter series, in order no less, was too damn pretty (and clever.  Did I mention clever?), to let it drift into obscurity on the internet.  While the fact that it doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas or the holidays on the surface does bug me, every other freaking thing about the song more than makes up for that fact.

Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Sugarquills – “Help Me Hagrid”: I’d already heard this song during This Star Won’t Go Out, so I thought I knew what was in for.  I WAS WRONG.  You see, I’d first heard it live with just Justin and an acoustic guitar.  On the album it sounds like a bizarre style mash-up of Ke$ha and Ministry of Magic, and manages to sound both overproduced and lo-fi at the same time.  So, this is basically what I looked like whilst listening to the Jingle Spells 4 version of the song for the first time:

Let me put it another way.  Say that this is the version I first heard:

Then this would be the version that is on the CD:

Now, all that being sad, I really, really like this song.  Firstly and most obviously – it’s all one giant joke, and it’s frickin’ HILARIOUS.  I mean, only Justin Finch-Fletchley would think of autotuning Justin Finch-Fletchley.  But secondly, there are some things that are actually very, very good about it.  The chorus is legitimately catchy as all hell and stands up as a fine hip-hop hook, Justin’s impression of Hagrid is nigh hilarious, and the story the lyrics tell is silly and endearing.  It’s exactly the sort of thing a fresh-faced Hufflepuff firstie would tell to an incredulous common room.  Furthermore, there’s a great reference to a certain Jingle Spells 1 song, the image that the line “You should have seen Hagrid’s happy dance” puts in my head is absolutely priceless, and best of all, you can just hear the smile in Justin’s voice.  Seriously, this fucker is, like, smiling all the frakkin’ time – doesn’t he know that the world is death and sadness and taxes and stuff?  Where does he get off, smiling and making silly-ass pho-hippity-hop songs with ironic auto-tune that are about Three Stooges-esque antics with a violent magical tree?  The nerve of some people.

Huh.  Whatever happened to “short mini-reviews of each song”?  Welp, a little halfway through the album, let’s keep going.

The Purebloods – “Spread the Pureblood Cheer”: My only previous experience with the Purebloods was 2007’s more-fun-than-it-should-be “Death Eater Disco”, and things haven’t changed too much for the band – they seem to have gotten better recording equipment or done some minor mixing work or something, but the basic premise of “a group of good female voices singing about the dark side of magic over fun instrumentals” is still there.  While listening to it alone, I want it to be faster and closer to “Death Eater Disco”, but in the context of the album, it’s leisurely pace is a very nice respite after the previous… thing.  Plus, if you focus on the lyrics, you’ll be rewarded with some more – you guessed it! – dark humour!  Yaaaay!  The tip of the hat to Jingle Spells itself is particularly fun, especially for the context in which it’s used in the song.

Undesirable #1 – “Happy Christmas (A Journey)”:  So, it’s a mark of great shame for me that I only after listening to this song did I realize something that listening to Undesirable #1’s album Wizards With Swagger should have made apparent: that Richard has done something that no one before has dared to do, and I thought might never happen – made a wizard rock band from the dedicated point-of-view of Harry Potter.  Because, you know, that had already been taken.  Now, tons of people choose characters already taken – there are like, a gazillion Hermione bands out there – but no one had ever done Harry Potter, out of either respect of the DeGeorge’s or some sort of misguided fear of being labeled a reprobate.  But Richard of Undesirable #1 has done just that, and in a very tasteful, almost subtle way, so that even someone like me who analyzes every aspect of wizard rock way too freaking much didn’t right away notice it or connect it with Harry and the Potters.  Plus, while I could never really see Harry Potter rapping (In The Cupboard, while not my favorite HatP album, is the one that most sounds like something Harry would actually make [that and Scarred For Life]), if he did, I could totally see him using the name “Undesirable #1” – such a clever band name.  So, I just spent 225 words not discussing the actual song at all.  It is, in a word, good.  Not great, definitely not a “My Wish List” or “My Dad Is Dead”, but I like the condensing each book into just the Christmases and listing them chronologically (reminiscent of an earlier track, “Hogwarts Lullaby”), and the chorus is nice.  Also, yeah, the Dursleys were real dicks, weren’t they? Damn.

Tonks and the Aurors – “Auror Xmas”: Absolutely brilliant.  Not only is it musically a fantastic song, catchy and driving without seeming too fast or edgy for a Christmas song, but it tackles something not often seen in wizard rock – what a crap job it is to be an auror.  I mean seriously.  The closest thing they have to backup is dementors, their superiors are all idiots, and all the smart people are working for Dumbledore.  Which is why half the department is in the Order, I guess.  Sucks to be Dawlish.

DJ Luna Lovegood – “Mrs. Lovegood’s Christmas Cookie Song”: It sounds like a home-recording Lorcan or Lysander would make of their mum in the kitchen, and then would play to their kids.  Sweet and simple.  It took me a couple of listens, but ultimately, it’s successful, and works exactly the way it does – if there had been a cleaner recording or instrumentation or something, it would NOT have worked at all.  But it didn’t, so it does.

Leth I. Fold – “Eat You on Christmas”: I was already a pretty big fan of Leth I. Fold (see my review of EPiskey), and I liked how Leth Speaks started to buy into the band’s name a lot more, resulting in some of the most clever-by-necessity-of-singing-from-a-character-of-such-obscurity songs I’ve heard since Welcome To The House Of Awesome (a review of Leth Speaks may be coming, eventually… after I finish Wrockstock… and work on that pile of CDs… and I’ll probably have a couple more bonus holiday-themed articles…).  Anyway, “Eat You On Christmas” continues the precedent set by Leth Speaks – it’s really weird and really funny.  No only is the line “And instead of eating them [wizards] I have nothing for my tum-tum / Instead of silent nights I’m hearing ‘Expecto Patronum'” really, really clever in a lot of ways, hearing a lethifold, one of the most dangerous beasts, ever, saying the word “tum-tum” is so bizarrely hilarious it can’t help but be endearing.  Lastly, it takes a lot of bravery to purposely make your voice sound bad on purpose, it takes a whole lot more than that to make it actually work. Props, Janet, props.

Slytherin Soundtrack – “Christmas Night (Too Much Pumpkin Juice)”:  I’m really sorry about this, various dudes and dudettes of Slytherin Soundtrack, you didn’t ask for this, but I just didn’t really like your song.  Again, I do feel like a bit of a tool picking on a band as small as you, and I wish you absolutely no ill will, and I urge you to not listen to me and keep doing what you’re doing, but I personally didn’t like the song.  Sorry.  But hey – apparently, Paul DeGeorge/Melissa Anelli/Whomever likes it, and that’s a lot cooler than some jerk on the internet, right?  Though, gotta say, love the reference to Stubby Boardman.

The Remus Lupins – “Literary Echo”: Let’s get the boring music stuff out of the way first, shall we?  It’s very good.  While I still think 2007 TRL is the best TRL, this is one of those songs in the newer style that I quite like.  It’s not a song that I’m going to listen to a ton, but it’s really… nice, and I mean that as heartfeltly one can mean a word that has become so banal.  Also, I really, really like the chorus.  Now, for the fun stuff – the lyrical content!  “Literary Echo” is one of those few, weird wizard rock songs that takes almost no direct cues from canon and even outright makes shit up, even stuff that is contradictory to canon, and yet it feels right, because despite the specifics, the characters and their emotions and interactions are nailed – something the movie franchise has only recently become successful at.  You see, this song is basically about how Teddy is a whiz at the guitar and singing and stuff, just like his dad, and while I really can’t see canon’s Remus having the time or inclination to play the guitar (though I do totally see Alex’s Remus doing that – but that’s a discussion for a different article entirely), that’s not really the point.  This song could have been about how Teddy inherited his father’s skill at gutting fish or playing Parcheesi or abandoning newly-wed and pregnant wives or whatever, but the meaning would not have changed at all.  It’s a beautiful song about adopted families and living up to the greatness of parents everyone always talks about but you never knew, and it’s done in a way that really fits with what little we know/can surmise about Teddy from canon.  While it’s not quite interesting enough musically to sustain multiple listens, the lyrics more than make up for that.

Gred and Forge – “Have Yourself a Harry Little Christmas”: Huh, I sort of failed on that whole “short, two-tweet-ish sized reviews” thing, didn’t I?  Let’s see if we can turn things around in the fourth quarter for this last song.  This track is pretty much the perfect song to ends things off with.  It’s a nice, simple parody-bordering-on-cover of a holiday classic, made fresh by the fact that it’s essentially two songs in one – a slow, old-timey vinyl-recording-sounding version, followed by a really fun and fast wrockn’rowl version, which closes the album on a high-quality, really fun note, leaving a good taste in the listener’s mouth. Ears. Whatever.

So, there you have it – Jingle Spells 4!  Should you buy it? DUH.  If you hadn’t noticed, I liked all of the songs on the album, with one exception (again, really sorry dudes), and if I like something, well then, it must be good.  In all seriousness, this truly is a very good album, and one that is well worth your money, or a slot on Christmas list or whatever.  Of course, now that I’ve spent way much more time than planned reviewing each individual song, it’s time for me to make a few broad statements about the album as a whole.

Firstly, you know how last year there were songs about holiday’s other than Christmas?  Not so much this year.  Sure, as always, there were the more “generic winter holiday” style songs, but not one mention of Channukah, Chahar Shanbeh Suri, or Saturnalia or Hogswatch or something.  I thought that maybe with opening up the submissions we might get some more eclectic holidays featured, but hey, whatever.  This isn’t a point against JS4 at all, more an observation.  And speaking of opening up the submissions, can I just say how glad I am that Leaky decided to do this, and how well it worked out?  I mean, how well it works out ultimately depends on how many people buy the album, especially with regards to previous year’s numbers, but it’s not even like there aren’t most of the usuals.  In fact, the only notable names missing are any of the more popular wiz-hop bands, the more popular female duos – Parselmouths, Riddle TM, Moaning Myrtles – and Ministry of Magic.  But besides that, you’ve pretty much got all the bases covered that you would expect.

And on that topic, whoever decided the songs’ order did an EXCELLENT job – spacing out the big names without hiding the smaller bands new to the comp.  Also, the songs just flowed well into each other, and it started off and ended on the right notes – excellent job there.  And can I just say again how glad I am that Leaky put so many smaller but awesome bands in? I mean, I thought the contest was just for one coveted spot on the album, but it’s more like they just had an open casting call, which is really cool, and injected some new blood into the album.  Previously, the spaces in the tracklisting seemed to be filled by whoever was in the EP of the Month Club that year, and I was wondering what they would do this year, and I absolutely LOVE their solution.

Here’s a bit of a challenge for you: if you like a little band’s song on Jingle Spells 4, tell them.  Let them know you liked their shit – it will mean the world and more to them.  You think I have no business being negative, and that this should be a purely positive fandom? PROVE IT.  Give some little yet awesome bands some love.

Lastly, a note about the album art – WHY THE FUCK IS THAT OTTER ON FIRE? OTTERS SHOULD NOT BE ON FIRE! I GET THE DICKENS ALLUSION, AND THAT DOG IN THE ROBE IS CUTE AS FUCK, BUT OTTERS SHOULD NOT, I REPEAT, NOT, BE ON FIRE! /endrant

My final grade of Jingle Spells 4?

4.5 Yotsuba’s!

Seriously, buy this album.  And buy A Magical Christmas of Magic, too, while you’re at it.  Also, buy me a pony.  Wrock Snob out.

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55 Comments (+add yours?)

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  2. Melissa Anelli
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 12:06:36

    LOLOL. Love this review. As funny and sharp as I’d expect. Worth the wait, Snobby one.

    Couple things:

    We opened the submissions because – as you astutely point out – the tracklisting was starting to sound like whoever was on Ep of the month that year. Meaning, it was feeling picked over. Those are exactly the words I used – “picked over.” Worn through, you know? So we asked some of our favs and left half the album open to submissions, but asked ENOUGH favs that if we didn’t get a lot of submissions the album wouldn’t be low on tracks. Three bands (Parsels, MoM, MM) had just way too many personal and professional commitments to do it in the three week deadline. Then when Paul and I got to picking the songs, we just liked way too many of the submissions. They were alternatively bright, lyrical, fun, different, dark, and WEIRD – and three songs ended up on there in the last five minutes of sequencing, when we had set the album and just went, “WAIT! Wait, try this one at slot #… ” We were a bit like addicts.

    Paul is mostly responsible for the sequencing. I’ve picked up tips from him over the years so this time I made some of the suggestions that ended up in place, but mostly when I say I sequence with him, we throw things around for awhile and then he goes “Why not put this one over there?” and it fixes the whole damn album and angels start singing out of my iTunes.

    Congratulations for noticing what NEITHER Paul or I did until like…last WEEK. That Hogwarts Lullaby is not a Christmas song. We were brought in with their totally hilariously weird samples and just didn’t even notice. LOL. Woops!

    Also, did you catch that Eat You on Christmas is a parody of Hard to Be a Jew on Christmas? I think Leth I. Fold is my new favorite band on the back of that ALONE.

    Also, I totally love the Slytherin Soundtrack. Paul and I just laughed too hard at the idea of kids at Hogwarts basically sitting around drunk off too much Pumpkin Juice and recording a song. I dunno, I guess it’s either acquired or a specific taste, but it never fails to make me laugh. 🙂

    Maybe you can figure out what Paul and I couldn’t: What did Seen and Unforseen’s song sound LIKE? We both recognize the style from somewhere but can’t figure it out.

    Great review, Snobby!

    Reply

    • wrocksnob
      Dec 01, 2010 @ 20:45:07

      NO I DON’T KNOW WHAT S&U’S SONG SOUNDS LIKE. IT’S BEEN BUGGING ME, I JUST DIDN’T THINK TO MENTION IT IN THE ARTICLE. I mean, it sounds dark and claustrophobic as hell, but the opening guitar pattern really sounds like something I’ve heard before…

      Reply

  3. Richard
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 13:31:29

    Thanks for the review, mate. I’m glad you liked it. I’m still extremely surprised and thrilled that my song was chosen to go on this album. They announced the contest on the 1st of October and I started work on it on the 4th of October. I wrote the beat and melody, laid on the lyrics, added a bit of delay to the vocals and sent it on. Nowhere near a complete and total mix but I think that all things considered, it’s pretty damned good. I’m extremely proud that myself and my friend Eva (seen and unforeseen) made it on this album and I know that we are both very grateful to have been selected.

    On another note, I’d love for you to review Wizards With Swagger sometime. I know where I feel the wholes are with it and what I could have done better and I’m curious what you’re thoughts are.

    Reply

  4. Zoë (Split Seven Ways etc)
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 13:32:28

    Totally gonna write a Hogswatch song now.

    Reply

  5. Lena
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 13:42:52

    Soooooo many pictures.

    Yes, that’s all I have to say.

    Can you believe I wasted a comment on this?

    Reply

  6. Kwikspell
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 14:20:53

    Haha! Loved the review, Snobbertson.

    And it is true, I was terribly congested. I had an upper respiratory infection and allergy induced conjunctivitis…fun times. I also recorded everything two days before the contest ended cause I was trying to get over the crud. /end excuses I’ll do better next time. Promise.

    Now I’m gonna go home, relisten, and reread the article with the review. Excitement!

    Reply

  7. WRocker
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 14:21:50

    Great review; makes me want the album that much more.

    The only question I have after reading quite a few articles you’ve posted is this: what is meta-wrock?

    Reply

    • WRocker
      Dec 01, 2010 @ 14:27:25

      Oh, two more things: can we expect reviews of the other three? And isn’t it The Hermione Crookshanks Experience, not Hermione and the Crookshanks Experience?

      Reply

      • wrocksnob
        Dec 01, 2010 @ 20:47:22

        Of the other Jingle Spells? Definitely not full-on song-by-songs like this, but maybe more concise yays or neighs, sometime. Also, yes, yes it is. *goes back to change it* Thanks!

        Reply

    • wrocksnob
      Dec 01, 2010 @ 20:51:44

      Meta-wrock is a lot of things. “Meta” as a suffix means, among other things, “self-referential”. So, meta-wrock is one of two things – first, wizard rock that is about Harry Potter things but not the actual events of the book – so, about the movies effing up or about how awesome Jo is or whatever – and secondly, about wizard rock itself. Now this can also be split into basically two types – firstly, the more general songs about how great the wizard rock community is or whatever, and secondly, about an artist’s personal experience as a wizard rocker. The latter is something Matt of the Whomping Willows has delved into quite a lot in the past coupla years, so it keeps popping up. Great question!

      Reply

  8. Christian
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 15:18:52

    Hey Mr. L, could you expand on “ultimately lacking a point of focus”? I’m confused as to what you mean. 🙂

    Reply

  9. Melissa Anelli
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 15:36:33

    Oh, it probably goes without saying I disagree on the OBatR song. (But who cares! You know what they say about opinions.) At first I just liked it, then I fell, and then I had to prove to Christian I wasn’t kissing his butt by sending him a screenshot of the play count on my iTunes. He’ll tell you: true story. It’s more the lyrics than anything for me, which I think goes against the idea that it was aimless or whatever it was you said.

    I don’t think there’s been something more heartfelt about book seven Harry / the camping adventures / the loneliness they felt in that book. “Dead and gone, dad and mom in front of me.” <– GUH.

    And just this line destroys me every time: "Through the dark we push towards / an end to stories and legends of old / but these lonely nights have led me to / dreaming over and over of you." What a beautiful counterpoint to the bigness of what Harry & co are trying to accomplish and what they know they're up against, to the very small, intimate desire he has: to have love and quiet.

    Definitely one of my favorite wizrock songs of all time. And the reason it grew on me is because at first Christian's sound just kinda takes you to the pretty place, and you go "Oh, that's nice, I'll just listen to that beautiful voice awhile." So I didn't really listen to the lyrics. Then they hit and it was like… whoa. OK. This song rules.

    Reply

    • wrocksnob
      Dec 01, 2010 @ 20:54:54

      So, gotta say, haven’t quite gotten to the point at which I’ve really given the lyrics much thought. When I’ve been listening, I’ve been mostly doing as you said – “Oh that’s nice, just listen to the pretty voice”. Maybe I jumped the gun for reviewing for this song, but if after 10 listens the lyrics still haven’t sunk down for me, they probably aren’t going to anytime soon.

      Reply

    • Christian
      Dec 02, 2010 @ 15:06:48

      Thanks 🙂

      Reply

      • Deanna
        Dec 02, 2010 @ 18:49:11

        OBatR is my fave on the album, too. BTW, we named my minivan “The Knight Bus” and we like to sing, “and go for a riiiiiiiiiiiiiide …”

        Reply

  10. Deanna
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 16:21:22

    *whew* I had a lot of angsty anxiety while waiting for this review. I totally submitted this song on a whim, and didn’t even tell my bandmates (uh, kids). The best outcome of it all has been that they have wanted to make more music! We’ve come up with 4 songs in the last 2 weeks.

    Since the kids are currently 9 and 6 (the 2 year old has yet to lay down a track … lazy), I’ll guard them against critiques. I guess we follow a bit more in the Hungarian Horntail tradition than OBatR 🙂

    But I TOTALLY appreciate the feedback! Thanks

    Reply

  11. Zoe
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 16:29:51

    Zoe from The Honeyduke’s Cellar Gang here.
    Wow! Thanks so much for the wonderful review. I’m glad you appreciated the not-too-explored relationships in the Weasley family since it was really really fun to think about lyrically.
    Great review of all the songs, and I’m glad you liked the album too, although I slightly disagree with you on Christian’s “The Cold, Wild Yonder” (upon hearing the first time thought “why is Maroon 5 on Jingle Spells?”), which I have to say might be my favorite, followed by a close second of Alex’s “Literary Echo”…I’m a sap and like the slow meaningful songs though 🙂
    I look forward to reading more of your stuff (your review of MoM’s album made me laugh a little). Wrock on!
    ~Zoe

    Reply

  12. Whompy
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 18:01:33

    Excellent review all around! In particular, JFF’s section made me piss my pants laughing — THREE TIMES. I had no idea my body could hold that much urine.

    Reply

  13. Daisy
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 18:47:47

    Seriously awesome review. And the review of JFF’s song made me laugh so hard I was like, crying. I can totally SEE him smiling. Always. I love Justin.

    And seriously, the flaming otter was a little disturbing. I mean, the otter by itself was really really adorable, as were the other animals (Frak is an adorable-drawing expert, I believe), but I do not know why its head was on fire.

    Reply

  14. Melissa
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 20:26:23

    DUDE IT WAS THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT. It’s like a wreathy thing! He’s not on fire! You people. 😛

    Reply

    • wrocksnob
      Dec 01, 2010 @ 20:59:21

      Firstly – Melissa, everytime you leave a comment on this blog, you somehow leave it from a different IP address or email address or something – so I have to approve you every single time, and I’m starting to think that you have any army of clones at your behest. Secondly – HOW IS THAT A WREATHY THING?!?! THE STAG HAS A WREATHY THING. THE OTTER HAS A FLAMING HEAD.

      Reply

      • Melissa
        Dec 01, 2010 @ 21:49:49

        LOL: it’s because I have two computers, and because I am hardly ever in the same place for more than like, a week.

        But I like army of clones.

        I dunno about the wreathy thing, flaming head. We MUST ASK FRAK.

        Reply

    • Dee
      Dec 01, 2010 @ 22:28:40

      Melissa, you need to look at that cover art again. I saw your comment and said, “Oh ok, a wreath,” and then I went and found my copy of JS4 and looked and the otter’s head is definitely on fire. No wreath. Just fire.

      Frak, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.

      Reply

  15. dj Luna Lovegood
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 21:47:35

    I love that you got the song, the mood, the point, and where the hell did you find Lorcan? I looked everywhere for her name????
    Great Cd I thought, altogether what I would expect, laughter and expression.
    I like reading Melissa’s details here 🙂

    Reply

  16. Melissa
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 21:58:37

    Also my favorite moment on the entire album is at the end of Leth I. Fold’s track, when he goes, “Thanks wizard girl” and she asks him to get pizza. An adorable LETHIFOLD! WHO KNEW?!

    Reply

  17. dj Luna Lovegood
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 22:06:21

    BTW, really good Christmas Cookie recipe in that song, get your cookie cutter on!

    Reply

  18. Arodhwen
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 22:34:50

    I thought it had to do with the golden trio’s patronuses. And that it was just supposed to be Ron’s red hair to play up the whole Hermione-lurves-Ron thing. But then I wasn’t entirely sure Ron’s patronus was a dog so we can just all not pay attention to this comment.
    (And I can’t BELIEVE I didn’t notice the clever Dickens reference!)

    On a side note, Mr. Fold would like it relayed that if anyone calls him cute (or similar) again, he will devour them in their sleep. Please don’t blame the messenger for the RUDENESS of the message. *sigh*

    Reply

  19. Arodhwen
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 22:39:34

    Um… I forgot to check the “subscribe” box when I for-real commented and don’t know how else to do so without commenting again. Um… content, content.

    Oh! Your replies to spambots brighten my day a lot. Reason #1 to sub comments. (#2 is to read the comments.)

    Reply

  20. Oscar
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 00:52:00

    Oscar from Solitary Snape here. Just posting to say thank you for not shredding us to pieces with your sharp wit and mocking view! Truly grateful for that!

    And yeah… Always thought Cedric was a Jerk.

    Reply

  21. Melissa Anelli
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 10:45:14

    Also another thing (I can’t stop) about sequencing – we totally, 100% went by the metric of “what sounds good after this song?” or “what sounds like an opener?” or “what sounds like a good transition from this one we just put in there?” It was never *purposefully* spreading the “big” bands and smaller bands out but once in awhile we might have appreciated it, when that happened by circumstance. I’m glad that’s how it worked out, but the sound was king 🙂

    Reply

  22. Melissa Anelli
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 11:41:57

    NOW… you have to do the live CD. Assuming you have it. And I’m totally prepapred for the shellacking over the wait. It’s deserved. But there are REASONS. Here they are: the effing album was CURSED. There. But you HAVE it now! And you have to talk about Brian during Matt’s set. I think he broke glass in Albania.

    Reply

    • Dee
      Dec 02, 2010 @ 13:54:55

      Yes, I would love to hear what the WrockSnob thinks about LCLive. Especially because I believe that WS was not at LeakyCon09 (correct me if I’m wrong please).

      It was fun listening to it 18 months later because I had forgotten some of the fun things about the different sets.

      Reply

    • wrocksnob
      Dec 02, 2010 @ 19:56:22

      I do have the live CD, and I guess a review of it will come… eventually. But I still need to wrap up Wrockstock, do a couple holiday thingies, and then tackle the giant pile of CDs I brought back from Wrockstock. But it’s in the cards.

      Reply

  23. Jarrod
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 09:07:11

    You told me what I already knew: MY SONG IS AWESOME.

    😉

    Nice, complete review sir. I agreed with about 95% of what you said. I think Seen & Unforeseen had my favorite song on the album.

    Reply

  24. VoldeMargo
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 13:58:13

    YOTSUBA&! I love you, Wrocksnob, even though the ‘snow’ drifting past the comment box right now reminds me forcibly of an acute case of dandruff. Great review, as per usual; I think you handled the mix of bands very well indeed. Honest, but not unnecessarily cruel.

    Reply

  25. Randi
    Dec 29, 2010 @ 12:01:04

    Hey Snob!
    Jingle Spells 4 is one of my favorite wrock releases this year. And your review made me laugh. Fairly hard.
    -Randi from Love Wrocks

    Reply

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    Reply

    • wrocksnob
      May 18, 2013 @ 10:55:35

      I’m approving this one for two reasons – 1, the sheer length of it deserves applause, and 2, this spambot’s name is Pywort Cooth. PYWORT COOTH. HE JUST SOUNDS LIKE THE CLASSIEST FUCKING ENGLISH GENTLEMAN THAT EVER GENTLED.

      Reply

  27. Trackback: Jingle Spells 5 – A Retrospective | The Wrock Snob
  28. Trackback: The 10 Best Short Harry and the Potters Songs | The Wrock Snob

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