tue 27/02/2024

Album: Kate Rusby - Light Years | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Kate Rusby - Light Years

Album: Kate Rusby - Light Years

Another rosy-cheeked Christmas disc from Yorkshire’s Queen Folkie

A mumsy Christmas with Kate

The regular appearance of Kate Rusby’s folkie Christmas albums have almost become a Yuletide tradition in themselves at this time of the year. 2023’s Light Years being, somewhat incredibly, the seventh in the series.

Festive albums are generally, of course, planted in the family friendly end of things – unless an artist really wants to make a statement – and Kate’s wintery discs stick firmly to the programme. There’s definitely nothing snarky or Grinch-like here and even “Arrest These Merry Gentlemen” is more a case of light humour than “Bah Humbug!”. Not that this particularly marks Light Years out from the gentle and mumsy fare that she puts out during other times of the year. Kate Rusby certainly isn’t one for picking up on the gritty and sinister Dark Folk tales of Lankum, that’s for sure.

Rusby-fied versions of “Nowell, Nowell” and Chris de Burgh’s “A Spaceman Came Travelling” set the tone on Light Years. This continues with a suitably jolly take on “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree / Sleigh Ride”, which adds a bit of brass to give it a bit of oomph. The atmospheric “The Moon Shines Bright” features guest appearances from Alison Krauss and her banjo player, Ron Block, while “Glorious” is anthemic in a Keane kind of way. In fact, it could even have been a contender to soundtrack Marks and Spencer’s annual Christmas telly advert, if the British Middle Class’s favourite retailer hadn’t decided to be (just a tad) edgy this year.

Nevertheless, Light Years is still a bit twee – even for this time of year. And even the most fanatical lover of the Yuletide season might find it just that little bit too sugary to sit through the whole thing. So, maybe she might consider cleansing her pallet with a boisterous soundtrack for Saturnalia next time around.

Kate Rusby certainly isn’t one for picking up on the gritty and sinister Dark Folk tales of Lankum

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