Album: James Brown, The Complete James Brown Christmas (Polydor)

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The Independent Culture

Nobody works the festive angles the way James Brown could: not many acts have managed to crank out three complete Christmas albums, as are compiled here along with a smattering of bonus singles – including the not entirely festive-spirited "Believers Shall Enjoy (Non Believers Shall Suffer)", on which the Number One Soul Brother doesn't seem to have quite grasped the notion of goodwill to all men.

But elsewhere there's plenty to recommend the Godfather's take on Christmas – the off-the-cuff riff and rap of "Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto"; the great second-line snare work on "Christmas Is Love"; and the title "Let's Make Christmas Mean Something This Year, Parts 1 & 2", which is definitive in so many ways. Two, at least.

DOWNLOAD THIS Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto; Christmas Is Love; Go Power At Christmas Time; Merry Christmas Baby