Click here to return to the main site.

Music Review

Cover Image

Darkside of Christmas
Chapters 1 & 2


Artist: Collette Cooper
Label: Thelonious Punk Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 24 November 2023

Following on from 2022’s Darkside of Christmas: Chapter 1, Collette Cooper returns this festive season with Chapter 2. Reflecting the current political and social environment caused by the impact of national and global events, Darkside Of Christmas Chapters 1 & 2 takes a more poignant approach to the seasonal album, aiming to recognise the recent difficulties that have been felt by many around the world, touching on themes of love, loss and empathy, tied together with wry wit, edgy humour...

From what I can gather, this release is simply a reissue of Chapter 1 with an additional 3 songs added. Collette Cooper's delivery is one that you'll either warm to immediately or will start to grate on you a little. Sadly, for me I leaned a little more towards the latter.

While the occasional background chatter appeared to be designed to make the album sound spontaneous and unplanned, for me just came across as badly staged. It feels unnatural and forced. Not that this is a huge problem, it just took me out of the ambiance of the album for a while.

Another issue for me was that Cooper's vocal's didn't always appear in tune with the music. This was obvious from the opener 'Silent Night'.

Despite these slight misgivings, I have to admit that on balance it's not a bad festive album... It's not overly great either, but it's not awful. Tracks like 'Ain't Necessarily So', 'Another Day' and 'Darkside of Christmas' are worth the admission price alone.

While not an essential purchase, fans of Cooper will want to add this to their library.

Track listing:

01. Silent Night (6:13)
02. Ain't Necessarily So (4:48)
03. Another Day (3:05)
04. What A Wonderful World (5:52)
05. Darkside of Christmas (4:12)
06. Run Santa Baby (4:56)
07. When the Snow Falls (3:45)
08. Lost Soul (3:29)
09. Coventry Carol (4:53)


Nick Smithson