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The Incredible Singing Christmas Tree
Artist: Veggie Tales
Label: Big Idea
Time:16 tracks/ 54:36 

When Big Idea first started releasing Veggie Tales movies it was said that one of the demographics where they were most popular was college age males.  This has been one of the interesting things about Veggie Tales, they are primarily directed at kids but high school and college age kids are also enjoying them.  Many of those who were college age when Veggie Tales first started are now parents with young kids.  Yes, there are two generations of Veggie Tales fans.  _The Incredible Singing Christmas Tree_ feels like it is trying to appease both groups.  The first half of the CD is directed towards the young fans with songs that are so cheesy that they will drive people over the age of 12 goofy. The project starts off well with "O Christmas Tree" opened by Larry and the other veggies backing.  This song is used to set the stage for the rest of the first half of the album.  The veggies are going to fill up a set of risers with a choir and perform as a giant singing Christmas tree on Christmas eve.  They are holding auditions to see who will sing as the star at the top of the tree.  Songs during this portion of the album include "Puppy Love," "The Friendly Beasts" (by the Mixed Vegetables)," one of the few traditional songs on the first half of the album, Mr. Nezzar and Mr. Lunt perform an upbeat number,"Jingle Ka-Ching," the French Peas and the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything do "Battling Kings" (a reworked version of "We Three Kings"), a boy band song "Christmas Sizzle Boy" which will have adults reaching for the skip button it is so cheesy; a bluesy "Candy Line Blues" one of the better original songs on this half of the album; 

On the other hand, the second half of the project features traditional songs that will appeal more to the older fans, but put the younger fans to sleep.  After their Christmas tree risers fall and break the veggies are forced to rethink their plans.  A touching song that asks "Was He a Boy Like Me" by Junior Asparagus has the group in tears.  Guest vocalist Merche contributes "What My Father Did on Christmas Eve" about a father who shares the message of the baby boy born on Christmas.  Bob suggests that instead of doing a singing Christmas tree they should all go caroling.  Some of the highlights of the second half of this album include "What Child is This? The First Noel" and "Joy to the World". 

The problem with The Incredible Singing Christmas Tree is that it feels like two different albums.  The first half is geared towards young kids and the second is geared more towards the older fans who appreciate traditional carols.  The problem is that the two halves of this CD are so different that each group is liable to skip the other half.   

Burton Wray December 16, 2005



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