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Funny Looking Angels
Smith & Burrows Funny Looking Angels
Released 25 November 2011

Andy Burrows, Tim Baxter, Tom Smith
Label B-Unique
Length 36:01
Genre Rock, pop
Website www.smithandburrows.com

So, finally some new original Christmas songs to warm the cockles of our hearts. These songs are showcased here (mixed with the occasional cover) by Smith & Burrows. They consist of Tom Smith, lead singer with gloom indie rockers Editors and Andy Burrows, ex-drummer with Razorlight and now helping out with We Are Scientists.

This album is a real grower with some really excellent Christmas songs. 'This Ain’t New Jersey' and 'When the Thames Froze' are the album’s best tracks. The latter is probably the best original Christmas song released in the last ten years, certainly better than any of The Killers or Coldplay’s recent attempts. It’s a slow burner, with the piano intro building to the emotional ending. Tom Smith’s vocals are similar to his bands own 'The Weight of the World' from their 2007 album An End Has a Start.

Andy Burrows takes the lead vocals on 'As the Snowflakes Fall' and 'Funny Looking Angels'. His lukewarm vocals sound exactly like Badly Drawn Boy but with added Christmas spirit.

The album is a good mix of old and new with some 1980s covers thrown in to keep you paying attention. Black’s 'Wonderful Life' gets a wind-down by Tom Smith while Yazoo’s 'Only You' sounds more lifted and upbeat with Andy at the helm. Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel shares vocals with Tom Smith on a short rendition of 'The Christmas Song'.

This is an album that you could listen to sitting beside a glowing fire, curled up with your blanket with the Christmas tree lights twinkling in the background. Let’s hope that they decide to release a follow-up next year.

- Leon Byrne