The holiday concept album is a tricky and often terrible thing. Many artists at the dawn of their retirement will turn a couple of festive tricks, putting a strange spin on carols that symbolize cozy, good cheer. The results are often bizarre and embarrassing, hammering another nail in the coffin of a recording career. Novelty recordings are usually no less weird, making family-friendly standards raunchy or rip-roaringly bad in cheap and silly ways. In a few cases, though, an unusual take on holiday tunes is just what we need to reinvigorate our spirit and help us appreciate the classics once more. We’ve uncovered ten truly weird holiday albums that should get you in the mood for this season’s celebrations — or at least make you shake your head and laugh. Check them out past the break, and leave your personal favorites below.
Best known for his colorful, drug addicted past, Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland didn’t let his reputation prevent him from becoming possessed by the Christmas spirit and Frank Sinatra when he released a holiday album this year. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year‘s Bowie and Bing influence seems obvious, but the 10-track album doesn’t come close to matching the surreally awesome late ’70s collaboration. Weiland takes a crooner’s approach to the work and threw in a bit of reggae for good (?) measure. Whether you see the album as a lazy, embarrassing caricature or a brave, entertaining homage, there’s no denying that it’s a strange chapter in the former Velvet Revolver member’s career.