Even as a child I was never big on Christmas – much to the chagrin of some members of my family – and as an adult and burgeoning curmudgeon greetings of ‘Merry Christmas’ see me choke back replies of ‘bah, humbug’. So, as you can imagine, I’m not big on Christmas albums. Yet despite my general reticence, I went into Everyday Is Christmas, the eighth studio album from Australian songstress Sia Furler, with a degree of hope that I may be pleasantly surprised. After all, Everyday Is Christmas is an album of original songs and Furler has spent the past decade writing for some of the biggest names in popular music.
While opening number and lead single Santa’s Coming for Us has an ominous ring to its title, the song proves to be the expected upbeat, saccharine pop take on the holiday season. It’s executed well enough, but a wry twist to confound expectations and surprise the listener would have been welcome. Candy Cane Lane had the potential to be an excellent example of a modern Christmas tune, but Furler’s half-mumbled half-nasal vocal delivery mars the effect. Throughout the album, Furler resorts to this ‘singing’ style, almost as if she feels the songs aren’t worth her effort and attention, which is a shame as glimpses of her vocal talents can be found on Snowman and Sunshine.
Songs such as Underneath the Mistletoe and Ho Ho Ho, feel as though they are partially written song ideas shoehorned into Christmas attire. This is especially so on Ho Ho Ho, which is a party-banger that uses the ho ho hos – which feel oddly piratical at times – to fill in the blanks. You can also expect Puppies Are Forever to be the backing track to PSAs from humane societies for years to come and, in fact, images of dogs and cats are all that would be needed to put those ads to air today.
Ultimately many of the songs on Everyday Is Christmas present as incomplete ideas, or songs that didn’t make the cut elsewhere, hastily pressed into service for the festive season. That seven of the records ten tracks lazily fade out adds to this sense of incompleteness. Given that Furler co-wrote and produced the album with fellow songsmith for hire, Greg Kurstin, you would think between them they could figure out how to resolve a tune. Sadly, Sia’s Everyday Is Christmas fails to live up to the potential of those involved or instil me with the Christmas spirit.