It just may be time to banish that old Bing Crosby album to the bottom of the CD heap. There’s a whole new crop of holiday titles this year, with material from veteran and contemporary artists in every musical genre.
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Cyndi Lauper, and it may be some time until we do so again: The charmingly kooky and inventive singer delivers her seventh and final album for Epic Records, the aptly titled “Merry Christmas . . . Have A Nice Life.” The collection of mainly original tunes is a real winner, especially album opener “Home On Christmas Day,” co-written with “Time After Time” collaborator Rob Hyman. Lauper explores atypical holiday themes on such tracks as “Christmas Conga” and her loungy/ska rendition of “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.” There are also two tracks from previous albums, “Feels Like Christmas,” a Cajun-spiced tune from “Hat Full Of Stars,” and “Early Christmas Morning” from “Sisters Of Avalon.”
The album closes with a stark “Silent Night” in honor of the late Peter Wood, a keyboardist who toured and recorded with Lauper.