The Choirboys The Carols Album Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

One way of guaranteeing yourself a merry little Christmas...

Michael Quinn 2007

Excuse me for not getting caught up in the Christmas spirit just yet, but, please, can't someone put an end to The Choirboys before it gets out of hand? With the original trio dispatched to anonymity after their now forgotten 15 minutes of fame in 2005 due, no doubt, to advancing age and broken voices, along come another three identikit boy trebles squeezed into a one-size-fits-all corporate-driven brand.

Despite careers that are likely to be shorter than the lifespan of your average Christmas turkey, the Choirboys Mark II launch into a rock-stylee 'thank you' list in their otherwise somewhat thin booklet notes, in which their label is mentioned five times, their management team three times and various others (not least the marketing team – how sweet!) thanked for a laughable litany of help and 'always being there in time of need'. Run that by me again: 'In time of need'? When exactly was that? When they were late handing in their homework? Forgot their PE kit? Run out of Sunny D? Have none of the people praised by this year's models for 'being the best team there is' told them the brutal truth about just how short their, ahem, careers are going to be?

If you can get past the brute cynicism of the concept to the recordings, you’ll find nothing that's special, noteworthy or out of the ordinary about performances that never rise above the level of a well-rehearsed school concert. The singing is fine (if a touch flutey), it's in tune, it's together, but it delivers nothing that thousands of other boy trebles couldn't do with equal competence. Or that hundreds of other carol collections on disc haven't already done before, and considerably better.

For anyone still interested, besides the dozen traditional carols and seasonal hymns you'll also find two modern pieces: John Rutter’s elegant "What Sweeter Music" and Hollywood classic, "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". One way of guaranteeing yourself a merry little Christmas is to make sure that all your friends and family know that this instantly disposable disc is categorically not on your list of must-have presents this yuletide.

Bah, humbug indeed!

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