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The best and the worst of 2015's holiday music

Bill Murray's Netflix Christmas special might not have received the best reviews, but how did it stack up in our year-end look at the best and worst holiday music of 2015?
Bill Murray's Netflix Christmas special might not have received the best reviews, but how did it stack up in our year-end look at the best and worst holiday music of 2015?
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The Frame is a little more than a year old, but we already have something of a holiday tradition — picking some of the best and worst of the year's holiday music.

Joining us this year is Sean Rameswaram, a producer and host at WNYC in New York. He's home for the holidays, so he and Frame host John Horn joined forces to pick some of the highs and lows of 2015's holiday music.

"8 Days of Hanukkah" — Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings: 8 Days of Hanukkah

So where are we starting, good or bad?

I think it's good! Different strokes for different folks, but this is the one Hanukkah song on my list. We're a little late — maybe a week and a half late, actually. But for all you people with a Hanukkah hangover, there's a new holiday music album from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

It's got like a Tower of Power horn section. It's kinda old school!

Yeah, have you ever heard James Brown's "Funky Christmas Album"? It's like that, but about Hanukkah, which is huge. At one point she just starts going "dreidel dreidel dreidel," and I love it.

"Alone on Christmas Day" — Bill Murray & Phoenix

Alone On Christmas Day by Phoenix and Bill Murray

This is from that Sofia Coppola Netflix special, right? That wasn't so well-received...

[laughs] I watched it, and it was painful. It took me two tries to get through it. There are some salvageable moments at the end where George Clooney shows up and tries to sing. But this is a collaboration with Phoenix — actually talented human beings who can sing and write songs.

The special does have its saving graces — it turns out that Rashida Jones has a great singing voice, but George Clooney can't sing at all, which is really funny. And it's redeemable, since he's trying and it's a joke. When Murray collaborates with Phoenix, it's one of the better moments from the special. And it's a Beach Boys cover!

"Joy to the World (Goat Edition)" — Actionaid Sweden

Joy To The World by Actionaid Sweden

What about goats?

I'm going to end this with goats, naturally, because this is the Internet we're pulling from. A group called Actionaid Sweden put out an album of Christmas music, but instead of humans singing the Christmas songs we're familiar with, we have goats.

It sounds like a slaughterhouse, not a farm!

[laughs] No, these goats are being taken care of! Actionaid Sweden actually wants to highlight the role that goats play in solving poverty — their mission is to get goats for small farmers so they can till the land, and there's fertilizer, and goat cheese, and milk. Apparently goats can really turn your life around.

"The Christmas Song" — David Hasselhoff

The Christmas Song by David Hasselhoff

I'm going to end with a song that's set in a petting zoo, but it's five years old. It features the actor David Hasselhoff walking around a petting zoo with two terrified children on a bench. At one point, Hasselhoff goes to touch a rooster which flies away, and you'll hear some animals in the background.

Are those animals laughing at him? [laughs] This is crazy.

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