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Steve Lukather & Friends - Santamental Review
by Zane Ewton

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It's a sure thing. Every December the world is attacked by countless renditions of Holiday classics. Bing Crosby gets dusted off and slid into the Wal-Mart sound system. Christmas music takes over the airwaves, ranging from the incredible to the horrendously irritating.

While guitars in Christmas music is not a brand new idea, Steve Lukather and several big guns do a good job of putting a little shred in your holiday diet. Santamental is a reissue from Steve Vai's label. Originally released in 2003. Lukather is regarded as one of the top session guitarists in rock and roll and was a member of 1980's hit machine Toto.

Santamental is strange because it is so traditional. The tracks are full of horns and sleigh bells, angels and wonderlands. Stranger still that these traditional songs feature names like Eddie Van Halen, Vai and Slash. Probably more in line with the familiar Christmas fare, Santamental offers up some classy guitar playing and enough of a diversion to be a welcomed treat. The big names play it straight and don't detract from the overall feeling of the album. A feeling that is decidedly celebratory.

All of your favorites are here including "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night" not to mention a fun version of "Jingle Bells" sampling vocals from Sammy Davis Jr. An original makes its way on to the disc in "Broken Heart for Christmas", a bluesy slog through a lonely holiday.

Santamental is fun. A great background track for your Christmas party. It won't scare your Aunt Phyllis but it will be a great alternative to another Mariah Carey Christmas. Now if we could just get Lemmy to do a Christmas from the dark side.


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Steve Lukather & Friends - Santamental

Label:Favored Nations Records
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