THE MAN WHO DESCENDS FROM THE SKY TO GIVE YOU PRESENTS: Woods’ version of “Christmas Time Is Here” is faithful enough to the Peanuts original by Vince Guaraldi (a man who, like the band, was no stranger to a magnificent beard), only it’s dreamier. The guitars are pleasingly jangled, like they’ve been filtered through canned cranberry sauce. The introduction of percussive emphasis on the waltz-time means the drums pop more than the percussion brushes did in Guaraldi’s version, and the vocals sound less like they’re coming from a disappointed boys’ choir.
THE ALIENS WHO DESCEND FROM THE SKY TO ANALLY PROBE YOU: But the key changes seem a little more sinister! So the line “Sleigh bells in the air/beauty everywhere” sounds like a warning, one that re-emerges during the instrumental bridge just past the song’s halfway point. The guitar, which already sounds vaguely extraterrestrial, is joined by truly out-of-this-world looping effects that are tantamount to an aural alien abduction. THE VOCALS DON’T SOUND LIKE A DISAPPOINTED BOYS CHOIR BECAUSE THEY POSSESS THE CALCULATED YULETIDE CHEER OF POD PEOPLE! This iteration of “Christmas Time Is Here” is about alien abduction, and don’t let anyone tell you different.
CHEER FACTOR: 51, as in the Area. Definitely better than an alien-administered rectal exam.
LISTEN: Woods – “Christman Time Is Here”