'New Wave Xmas: Just Can't Get Enough' (1996)
This hall-decking edition of Rhino's Eighties new wave compilation series is full of fun, quirky alt-pop nicely divided between oddball U.K. Christmas singles and college-radio novelties perfect for that last show you do before winter break. The album has two sad, snow-covered romantic masterpieces (the Pogues and Kristy MacCall's "Fairytale of New York" and the Pretenders' "2000 Miles"), some jangly adorability (Matthew Sweet and the Buzz of Delight's "Christmas" and Chris Stamey Group's "Christmas Time") and nerdy comedy gold (Kris Kringle is a girlfriend-stealing skeezer on They Might Be Giants' "Santa's Beard"). You can judge the staying power of David Bowie and Bing Crosby's legendarily bizarre "Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy" for yourself, but don't sleep on Captain Sensible's minor 1984 U.K. hit "One Christmas Catalogue," a sublime synth-rock evocation of all the ways we use the holiday to mark time – for better or worse.
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