A Christmas Album
Label: Saddle Creek
Only Conor Oberst could make a Christmas album that's also his slowest, dirgiest work. Which isn't to say it's not fancy or ambitious -- not with marching snares, a genuine choir (with onetime Saddle Creek mates Orenda Fink and Blake Sennett among the voices) and bells (on "Silver Bells," of course). Cut in 2002, A Christmas Album is a modest effort with few ambitions other than turning the likes of "Little Drummer Boy," "Silent Night" and a truly grayscale "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" into slowcore lullabies.