Sometimes, musicians create holiday albums, and it's obvious to the listener the act is breaking character. Maybe they just want to make a buck off the seasonal experience, so they'll put on ill-fitting red clothes and play the part. With "Hey! Merry Christmas!" by The Mavericks, though, one finds another fine album by the group, which just happens to be comprised of songs that concern Christmas.
For example, the title track is a piano-pumping, rockabilly Jerry Lee Lewis throwback. There's a whole lotta shakin' going on with it, which also occurs around about Dec. 25. Then there's "Santa Wants to Take You for A Ride" which applies the sexiness of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire" to Santa Claus' lusty intents. It's the type of song you might expect to be sung by Billy Bob Thornton's character in "Bad Santa." Santa wants to explore the great indoors with this one, if you know what I mean. Speaking of Springsteen, "Santa Does" rocks with a vintage E Street Band vibe, complete with a Big Man-y sax solo.
The Mavericks mostly stock this stocking with original songs. However, they cover "Happy Holiday" by slowing it down considerably, and also give us their take on the Darlene Love favorite, "Baby Please Come Home." Although the latter is good, folks really shouldn't mess with Love's musical perfection.
With "Hey! Merry Christmas!," The Mavericks never needed to break character. Instead, they made yet another wonderful Mavericks album. This one will sound especially good around the time of the holidays, but also all year round.