Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Various Artists 

Santa Baby (Starbucks Hear Music)

Starbucks peddles more than gingerbread lattes during the holiday season. The omnipresent coffeehouse also issues one of the more reliable Christmas compilations. But unlike previous editions, Santa Baby doesn't emphasize the kitsch. Though it still maintains the series' hip mix of the old and new -- despite such missteps as Sarah McLachlan's warbly tribute to Joni Mitchell, Diana Krall's forced phrasing on "Sleigh Ride," and Sinatra's melodramatic rendition of "The Christmas Song."

In contrast, Dean Martin gets all nice 'n' loose on the lost nugget "Christmas Blues," saving the production from overzealous strings. Meanwhile, Peggy Lee, Billie Holiday, and Eartha Kitt croon classic carols, and the new girls on the block hold their own. Aimee Mann drifts gracefully through "I'll Be Home for Christmas." And Pink Martini's "Little Drummer Boy" opens with bubbling bongo drums and swooning vocals from China Forbes. The exclusive track then grows incrementally, with layers of Cuban jazz that are hot as a fire and cooler than any known version of "Frosty."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Speaking of CD Review

More by D.X. Ferris

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 7, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation