Reverend Horton Heat We Three Kings

With We Three Kings, Reverend Horton Heat have remarkably created a Christmas albums that’s novel and enjoyable. It’s also one of the band’s tamest discs to date. The psychobilly stomp of their early records is largely absent here, replaced with subtle ballads and mid-tempo rockabilly tunes. The restraint suits the material well and the group still manage to inject transparent enthusiasm into the songs. Their handful of instrumentals show off some well-rounded chops, while the Reverend’s voice is in fine form on songs such as "Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and "Santa Bring My Baby Back.” If only shopping malls were piping We Three Kings through their speakers this season instead of elevator music. (Yep Roc)