A recent release reviewed

Christmas with the Kranks Hollywood Records

Relax, it's not Christmas with the Crankies, so put the gun away. The seasonal flick starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis concerns a family who decide to skip Christmas, with - we are assured - hilarious results. The soundtrack, compiled by Little Steven Van Zandt, is a clutch of Christmas songs from straight outta leftfield, opening promisingly with The Ramones' Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight). Gabba-gabba-sleigh. There are fine, festive readings of old songs, including The Christmas Song by The Raveonettes, Frosty the Snowman by The Charms and a version of White Christmas by Tina Sugandh that wouldn't sound out of place on the soundtrack to Merry Christmas Mister Lawrence. The Chesterfield Kings' rock-steady Hey Santa Claus doesn't feel very Christmassy, but The Butties' Joy to the World neatly drops The Beatles into the Christmas pudding mix.

Kevin Courtney