That isn’t to say that it isn’t worth listening to; quite the contrary. Just that a right-wing author with a jaunty, musical album shares the same juxtaposition as Rush Limbaugh judging the Miss America pageant.
When not being a ginger-haired thorn in the side of the jihadis around the world, most know that Controversial Author Mark Steyn(TM) likes to croon away the midnight oil, even garnering status a ‘Top 41′ recording artist on Amazon’s pop chart and peaking at seventh place on their Easy Listening chart (‘easy’ being the subjective term.) After teaming up with British singer Jessica Martin for a few singles over the past few years such as “Marshmallow World” and Cole Porter’s “It’s De-Lovely,” Mark Steyn has now released his first full length Christmas album, Making Spirits Bright, to serenade the world through the Holiday season.
With classic Christmas favorites like “Jingle Bells” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Making Spirits Bright also has a mashup of “Santa Claus is Coming to Down” and “He’ll Be Coming Down the Chimney”, and some less commonly known–but equally awesome–songs like “A Little Town at Midnight.”
In the interests of full disclosure, I donned an Imam outfit and accompanied Steyn singing “It’s a Marshmallow World (Disco Version)” live before a crowd of 1000 a little over a year ago, so I have a pretty solid understanding of how easy it is to be utterly entertained by his singing as much as his speaking.
For those who only of Mark Steyn by his bestselling books America Alone and After America, this album will come as a bit of a shock, and that’s reason enough to buy a copy of the album from the Steyn Store or through iTunes. Even if you are familiar with the side of Steyn that bakes cookes with Martha Stewart (oh yes, that actually happened) and parodies Stevie Wonder singles, Making Spirits Bright is a necessary addition to your collection.
It’s abundantly clear throughout the album that Jessica Martin and Mark Steyn share a very strong chemistry, demonstrated through their sometimes spoken and sometimes sung banter in many of the tracks, as well as the fun, lyrical alterations on a handful of the songs that place this album in a category of its own.
Jessica Martin’s perfect pitch and dynamic tone makes her somewhat of a cheery, British version of Idina Menzel, and offers a wonderful balance to the mellow, baritone Steyn. Steyn alternates between the upbeat numbers and the softer ballads with grace and ease.
While Making Spirits Bright doesn’t include a piano-playing Imam (perhaps the deluxe edition…) it is still the must-by Christmas album of the year for Steyn fans and the uninitiated alike!