VARIOUS ARTISTS, "Elton John's Christmas Party"
DJ E-Pro selects his Christmas time favorites on this sprawling, inclusive 21-song mixtape, the sort of thing best enjoyed with a nice hot cocoa or a coffee.DJ E-Pro selects his Christmas time favorites on this sprawling, inclusive 21-song mixtape, the sort of thing best enjoyed with a nice hot cocoa or a coffee -- which, come to think of it, you have to, since it's available only at Starbucks (some proceeds benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation). As the ringmaster here, Sir Elton includes his own "Step Into Christmas" and a new duet with Joss Stone, "Calling It Christmas."
But as a musical Santa, Elton's out to furnish goodies for everyone's stocking. There are usual suspects like Springsteen, the Ronettes and the Beach Boys, as well as not-pummeled-into-submission-at-the-mall tracks from the Flaming Lips ("A Change at Christmas"), Kate Bush ("December Will Be Magic Again") and Rufus Wainwright ("Spotlight on Christmas") and some alternative holiday-themed nuggets like John Mayer's "St. Patrick's Day" and ... Outkast's "Playa's Ball?" Whatever, man, you're the knight. What Elton might lack in innovation he makes up for in mugfuls of holiday cheer. - Jeff Vrabel