Morton Valence
Single: Christmas In Valence
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 1

We're overdue on the review of this seasonal single and as has been pointed out seasonal singles only have a certain amount of shelf life and I should have had this up a couple of weeks ago.

I use the words seasonal single because it would be inappropriate to describe this as a festive single as festive is one thing it's definitely not. If you look at the three greatest Christmas songs, "Fairytale Of New York", "I Believe In Father Christmas" and "Snow In Central Park", though there is a good argument that says the last of those three isn't actually a Christmas song, they all have a dark element to them and that is true of "Christmas In Valence" from former Fatea Debut Album Of The Year winners, Morton Valence.

From the chime block into and shuddering bass rhythm you know that this is a song that is going to go for your heart strings and rip them out one by one. A lingering duet in a slow Americana style, it makes John Prine's "Christmas In Prison" sound positively buoyant.

There may not be enough time to get this to be the Christmas number one, unfortunately it's probably not going to get anywhere near the air play it deservers, there is time to go out and get it and start slotting it into those Christmas mix cds for the office party. It would be great for that slowly waltzy song where you just look into your partners eyes and the decorations start falling around you.

In all seriousness this is a classic Christmas song in that slightly dark tradition and like a lot of songs in that tradition, you could start playing it from the beginning of December every year, but that would be a waste.

Neil King