Over the years, Christmas-themed horror films have fruitlessly tried to imbue the altruistic joy of the holidays with terror and discomfort.
Santa chopping off a tobogganer’s head with an axe in 1984’s Silent Night, Deadly Night? That’s just a reindeer game. A wheezy, 68-year-old Bob Dylan recording an album of Christmas standards? Backed by singers whose overt enthusiasm makes the Andrews Sisters sound moody? That’s not how you deck the halls:
The proceeds of Christmas in the Heart will go to food charities, which makes one want to say something nice about the whole affair. And to be honest, there is something fascinating about hearing the perennially dour Dylan let go and sing silly Holiday carols with casual glee.
His loose approach to singing is also what gives this yuletide offering its most bone-chilling moments, however—hearing Bob hack out the words “With angelic host proclaim/Christ is born in Bethlehem” reminds one of grandpa clearing his throat after finishing a glass of eggnog.
Is the whole album a Christopher Guest-esque self-parody? Is this just Dylan doing whatever the hell he wants? Most importantly, will you listen to Zimmer-Claus when you’re decorating your Christmas tree? Weigh in below.