Raffi’s Christmas Album

Y’know, I pretty much hate Christmas. With its forced cheer, its rampant commercialism, its bogus religiosity and especially its canon of horrible carols, the winter-solstice holiday season typically sends me into a bitter funk that doesn’t let up ’til around Super Bowl Sunday. But there’s something to be said for this humble kiddie sing-along disc, whose goofy, Canadian earnestness should be enough to pull the most humbugging lout out of paralytic yuletide torpor. Raffi Cavoukian has been cutting boffo sides for the wee ones for more than 25 years, and he’s applied his magic—which includes top-notch musicianship and even the Canadian Brass—to this collection of 16 tunes, most of which would inspire much venting of bile when sung by a less earnest, less Canadian singer. It’s enough to make you want to put on a bear suit, dance and get happy. Only Stompin’ Tom Connors could have made a better CD, eh?