In our first entry of the second annual round of Christmas Present posts (click here for a recap of last year, or here for an explanation of what Christmas Present represents), I go to another well-considered take of the classic Paul McCartney tune “Wonderful Christmastime,” re-envisioned by The Shins for a record last year.
Their version plays with the musical progression a bit, and offers a take that’s somehow more retro than McCartney’s in some ways, with the echo drums and harmonies that sound Beach Boys-like in execution. It sounds like a classic out of the gate, and pays proper tribute to the original while carrying the song forward, no easy feat. This version was one of my favorite finds during the previous season.
The song seemed to be largely left alone until recent years, when Hilary Duff released a version of the song that put a rock spin on it. More recently Demi Lovato released an inferior version in the same vein. But The Shins put a bit more of a twist on the song, making it more pleasant and unique to them.
And of course, we can’t post about the song without including the original. I learned today that there’s actually a video for the original. I also learned I wasn’t really missing too much, although it’s quite kitschy.