We all have our dark days. One of mine comes each year when radio stations go full-on, 24/7 Christmas music. Label me Scrooge, but I think you’re insane for listening to decades of covers of “Jingle Bells” on loop. But when a friend—who, I should mention, loves Christmas music—introduced me to Bootsy Collins’s 2006 album Christmas Is 4 Ever (Shout Factory), everything changed.
For one, it features the likes of Snoop Dogg and George Clinton. The cover art is incredible. But beyond that, it’s downright jolly in a makes-you-dance way, not a saccharine one. It makes me want to trim the shit out of a tree, egg nog in hand. It’s my kind of holiday spirit; I can’t help but play it on repeat. Every time I listen, it gets better.
Collins and company mix and riff through holiday standards and perform original tracks like “N-Yo-City” (which opens the album with a big old shout out to Cincinnati) and “Happy Holidaze.” The female vocals, the horns, the bass, the commentary throughout, the slightly dirty “Merry Christmas Baby”—it’s perfection. I even love his cover “Jingle Belz.” Boot-a-Claus is coming, baby. And I’ll take that top hat and sunglasses over a Santa hat and cookie belly every time. ’Tis the season for a Winter Funkyland.