Bob Dylan has been recording a Christmas album featuring songs like "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "Here Comes Santa Claus," according to two websites. His career trajectory does seem about at that regrettable stage. The precedents are sad.
Dylan has supposedly been recording the album at Jackson Browne's semi private studio in Santa Monica since May. Fans have already rewritten some holiday song titles for the famously nasal folksinger: "Spo-el, Spo-el;" "Po Middle Pawn o Methfaheem;" "Piddle Bunner Spoy" and "Cough the Gargle Nanges Wheeze."
What to expect from the actual music? The odds of something legacy-enhancing are slim. Let's look at what critics had to say about other holiday titles by long-established rock acts:
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Christmas Time Again: "Kinda sad. All these fellas want for Christmas is to be noticed again." —Denver Westword, December 14, 2000
Jimi Hendrix: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. (Released posthumously.) "Holiday horror... [one] outtake features Jimi audibly saying 'Man, I really don't feel like going through with this. This is really silly.'" —Phoenix New Times, December 23, 1999.
Moody Blues, December: "Perfectly innocuous. C-" Entertainment Weekly, December 19, 2003.
Jewel, Joy: "Christmas standards slaughtered by Jewel... is there any reason... [it] even exists?" Dallas Observer, Dec. 16, 1999
Jethro Tull, The Jethro Tull Christmas Album: "Not so much progressive [rock] as moribund... bulked out with insipid cocktail- jazz instrumentals... tedious... joyless." The Independent (London), December 12, 2003.