Stax (2015, reissue)
I'll admit it. I bought the wrong soul Christmas album. I thought I was buying Soul Christmas with "Gee Whiz, It's Christmas" by Carla Thomas and "Back Door Santa" by Clarence Carter. I was wrong. Christmas In Soulsville, focuses more on later era Stax Chirstmas releases. Moving more into that 70s funk/Hot Buttered Soul sound. There's two Isaac Hayes songs on this one.
My issue is twofold. One, I don't really like the direction that Stax moved to when they started doing the Isaac Hayes era releases. I prefer my soul a little earlier and a bit more upbeat. That brings me to my second issue with this compilation; there's just too many slow songs. Both Isaac Hayes songs are excruciating to get through, they're just so damn slow. "Please Come Home For Christmas" by Johnny Taylor and "What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas" by The Emotions are similar in that they don't feel festive to me.
That being said there are still great songs on this. It's a Stax record after all, they were bursting at the seams with talent. Otis Redding's "Merry Christmas Baby" makes an appearance and is a show stopper. "Winter Wonderland" by Booker T and the MG's isn't my favorite of their Christmas tunes, but it's still a solid entry. I also really enjoy "I'll Be Your Santa Baby " by Rufus Thomas and "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'" by Sir Mack Rice.
This wasn't a wasted purchase as there are plenty of great Christmas songs on here. But, it's just not the non stop hit factory that Soul Christmas is. So that's going to have to be top of the list next year.
V/A - Christmas In Soulsville: