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Yes, technically, we are past Christmas. But, technically, this latest collection from the master of musical madness bears only the slightest resemblance to the saccharine carols that plague us each year. Originally recorded between 1959 and ’62, these 10 songs feature typically idiosyncratic Esquivel arrangements, with lyric fragments and disconnected zoo-zoo-zoos and boink-boinks competing with cascading brass and unexpected Latin rhythms to render overly familiar songs fairly unrecognizable. The most traditional is “The Christmas Song,” with lovely close harmony by the Skip Jacks. There’s nothing depressing about “Blue Christmas”; rather, it captures the drowsy feeling of a holiday afternoon on the couch after too much egg nog. “Snowfall” conjures a frosty winterscape on, say, Venus. It is followed by “Sun Valley Ski Run,” which sounds like transitional music from a Perry Como special—and I mean that in the best sense. E! himself introduces the disc, in a newly recorded “super session,” with producer Br. Cleve & His Lush Orchestra, supplemented by Combustible Edison’s the Millionaire and Miss Lily Banquette, joining in on a welcoming “Jingle Bells” and a farewell “Auld Lang Syne.” Also included is “I Feel Marvelous,” a lost B-side taken from a forgotten Broadway show. It has nothing to do with Christmas, but using this album to decompress from the seasonally mandated disorder, I now feel marvelous, too. —Dave Nuttycombe