Local Review: Denney Fuller and His Elaborate Elves – It’s Christmas Again?!
Local Music Reviews
Denney Fuller and His Elaborate Elves
It’s Christmas Again?!
Denney Fuller and His Elaborate Elves = Avalanche City + Sufjan Stevens
Local composer and producer Denney Fuller is just saying what everyone is thinking: It’s Christmas Again?! Fuller released his second Christmas album, a seven-track set packed full of a variety of instruments, creating a nuanced and nostalgic approach to Christmas music—sometimes polka, sometimes jazzy, sometimes mystic. Together, Fuller and his elaborate elves, Beaux Underwood, Allison King and Parker Childs from St. Boheme, layer sounds from the trumpet, glockenspiel, ukulele, euphonium, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric bass, organ, recorder, xylophone, vibraphone, melodica, wooden/indian flute, clarinet, sleigh bells, tambourine, various percussive instruments, music box and even a Burger King toy.
The album is a combination of original tracks and Fuller’s renditions of original Christmas songs. It’s Christmas Again begins with a short, 47-second track titled “Danny, The Elf,” which winds up at the beginning, like a toy, and plays a scratchy, high-pitched lullaby, devoid of lyrics.
The majority of the tracks are devoid of lyrics, but they effortlessly create a mood, letting the music do the talking, especially on tracks like “Shhh!… It’s Snowing,” which is the perfect song to accompany the image of snowfall.
“Sunshine Christmas,” is a longer, more indie-sounding track with a full set of lyrics and a laid-back instrumental set, combining acoustic and electric with sporadic sleigh bells. This is a happy-sounding track that is anything but rushed, begging for a “sunshine Christmas” on the beach—Christmas isn’t about where you are, but how you feel, and this song feels good. Between happy, drawn-out notes on the electric guitar, Fuller sings, “The snow is here to stay / Let’s get away / What do you say to a sunshine Christmas?”
“Wake Up Johnny, It’s Christmas Again?! (In the Pacific)” is a short, lyricless track, but breaks out the brass instruments among high notes on the xylophone. The album is Christmas seeking to create happy-sounding, feel-good songs and new ways to hear and enjoy songs we’ve heard thousands of time. With tracks primarily rooted in multi-instrumental combinations rather than lyrics, It’s Christmas Again is both joyful and triumphant. –Lizz Corrigan