Un5gettable – It’s Time for the Holidays
Un5gettable likes to play down the humor of the band’s concept, but it remains worth a chuckle despite their self-deprecation. Joe Cameron, Kyle Cothern, Zach Harris, Brendan Hawkins, and Ryan Richards have earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the country’s best vocal groups with a real penchant for humor, but their latest release “It’s Time for the Holidays” isn’t as overtly humorous as the remainder of their recordings. It does have a light-hearted glow appropriate for the subject matter. The songwriting is unquestionably sincere – there’s never a single moment in the song that sounds like a band half-heartedly hitting their marks or invoking the season. The song runs a little over two minutes, ends quite cleverly, and is a very satisfying musical and vocal outing without any, even minor, excesses.
The stripped back musical arrangement is co-written by members Joe Cameron and Zach Harris. A simplified piano melody carries the song musically along with some tasteful percussion and it does a good job of rising and falling with the vocal arrangement without ever allowing itself to be completely obscured by the band’s stellar vocals. The music is well recorded and the piano’s crisp, clean delivery keeps the song moving forward. The band’s experience as musical theater performers emerges more strongly from this performance than it does other entries in Un5gettable’s discography thanks to the brief breaks embedded in the song for a little added Yuletide drama. Some humorous call and response is heard in the song as well and it’s a nice touch that they, thankfully, never overplay. The recording’s spartan qualities give this five piece a chance to make listeners laugh but, ultimately, it shows off their precision and professionalism in a very real way.
The words are relatively spartan as well and revisit the song’s refrain quite often. Specific imagery, no matter how common to the Christmas song genre, further enriches the listening experience and makes it quite accessible for everyone. Each of the five singers has strong phrasing talents and they are able to imbue the lyrics with a softly glowing charisma that makes the track even more likeable. The vocals follow a pattern familiar to Un5gettable’s discography. The majority of the track is focused around a single vocal, but the group comes together to spectacular effect on the chorus and assorted other crescendos throughout the track. The harmonies threaten to overwhelm the listener sometimes, but there’s enough variety between the five voices that novice and experienced music fans alike will greatly enjoy listening.
“It’s Time for the Holidays” is one of the best Christmas songs of the 2016 season and has a light, cheerful touch that most groups or bands struggle to achieve on songs of this ilk. Un5gettable has earned much of their reputation for their comedic and musical talents, but this single refrains from providing much of the former while still satisfying their audience with an entertaining and open-hearted track.