Various It's a Team Mint Xmas Vol. 2

You’d have to be a real Scrooge to knock such a festive benefit compilation but fortunately there’s no reason to with Mint’s second volume of Xmas musical merriment. Even if some of the proceeds of this album weren’t going to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, there’s enough snowy cheer here to make you feel good about picking up this collection of mostly original songs (including the five that made up Vol. 1). There are genuine treats here such as Atomic 7’s rollicking "Señor Santa Él Es El Monstruo,” and the snarky pop of "I Wanna Kiss You This Christmas” by David Carswell and Megan Barnes. The cynicism of Young and Sexy’s "Santa Claus Likes Rich Kids Better,” is tempered by the haunting voice of Dave Gowans leading the Buttless Chaps through Johnny Cash’s version of "The Blizzard.” It’s a treat to hear Carolyn Mark check in twice on her own but her third contribution is set up to be the album’s highlight. Mark joins a collection of roster mates (including the Organ’s Katie Skectch and the Smugglers’ Grant Lawrence) who form Mint-Aid to do a rendition of Band-Aid’s "Do They Know It’s Christmas?” While the accompanying video has its moments, much of the song’s caterwauling is a bit much and is an unfortunate closer to an otherwise fine collection. That last bit was too Scrooge-like, you say? Bah, humbug. (Mint)