Hope For The Holidays
By David M. Beard
This collection is one of the most inspired Christmas collections of artists to be released in decades simply because of the variety of artists and their individual takes on otherwise over recorded Christmas standards. One example, Axton’s recording of “Joy To The World,” begins traditionally and then vamps to the version made famous by Three Dog Night… Very cool. Beach Boys’ fans will find this collection interesting for a few reasons: 1) Mike & Christian Love sing on two new tracks, “Closing of the Year” and “Peace and Love”; 2) Beach Boys band member Randell Kirsch offers the beautiful “California Love”; 3) John Cowsill and family offer "Christmastime," and; 4) Mike’s 2006 resurrection of the “Kokomo” theme with the smaltzy “Santa’s Goin’ To Kokomo” by “The Beach Boys" all appear here. In 2006, when I first heard, “Santa’s Goin’ To Kokomo” I cringed, but in this format — a children's cause — the song fits extremely well.