Album Info

October 07, 2003
Favored Nations Records
Holiday, Christmas, Holidays, Hard Rock

Album Review

With the onslaught of instrumental guitar rock of the late '80s/early '90s (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, etc.), it's surprising that few six-string shredders assembled a collection of guitar-driven holiday tunes (Gary Hoey being an exception). Realizing a void in the market, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather issued Santamental in 2003, and the CD was reissued by Vai's label, Favored Nations, two years later. Santamental is credited to "Steve Lukather and Friends," with a supporting cast chock-full of renowned names -- Vai, Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Edgar Winter, and Gregg Bissonette. For the most part, Lukather and his comrades keep it "tasteful," without a lot of unwarranted arpeggio runs, two-finger tapping, or sweep picking. Most of the tunes here are of the aforementioned instrumental variety, but there are a handful of selections with vocals -- the undoubted highlight being "Jingle Bells," which includes some great vocals from Mr. Sammy Davis, Jr. (albeit sampled, obviously). Other highlights include a very Jeff Beck-like "Silent Night" (which Lukather even dedicates to Beck), as well as a rockin' take of "Joy to the World." If you're sick of the same old holiday songs, Santamental may be the highlight of your December party.
Greg Prato, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Joy to the World
  2. Greensleeves
  3. Jingle Bells
  4. Carol of the Bells
  5. Broken Heart for Christmas
  6. Angels We Have Heard on High
  7. Winter Wonderland
  8. Look Out for Angels
  9. Silent Night
  10. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) [*]
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