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An open letter to William Shatner about his ‘Shatner Claus’ Christmas LP, from Clive la Bouche

Our resident art critic Clive la Bouche reviews album artwork – new and old

It’s finally happened. William Shatner has recorded a Christmas album. He’s called it ‘Shatner Claus: The Christmas Album’, and you’ll be able to buy your copy from November 16. I’m not convinced that he needed the reassurance of ‘The Christmas Album’, but I’m also not completely sure that he doesn’t realise that ‘Shatner Claus’ isn’t even close to a workable pun. I have since emailed him stating a case for ‘Captain’s Yule Log’ with a little feedback on his finished artwork. He didn’t ask for it, but I’m 100 percent sure he would have appreciated hearing from me. My email read:

Dear William,

Can I first begin but saying congratulations on ‘Shatner Claus: The Christmas Album’, and the success of the record’s first single, ‘Jingle Bells’, featuring Henry Rollins. At the time of writing (23 October 2018), I see that the song has already received 1,163 plays on YouTube since it was uploaded on September 25.

Despite being a visual man myself (I’m an art critic – more on that below), I did of course check out the song and have to say that it was really quite different. I liked how you made it sound both jolly and extremely aggressive, which I’d never heard done on a Christmas song before.

To the matter at hand, though. As I say, I am something of an art critic and wanted to send over some notes on ‘Shatner Claus’’ sleeve art. Which I think is generally great, btw. The Christmas graphics I think make a lot of sense – the gold bow, the gold frame (I don’t know why that is Christmassy, but it is, isn’t it?), the flash of deep red that ‘Shatner Claus’ flows atop in a perfectly festive font. I see that you’ve squashed ‘The Christmas Album’ down the bottom there, which I’m a little less keen on, but I’m splitting hairs.

And then there’s you, of course. Peeping through a Christmas tree. Wearing your aviator shades. I’ll admit that at first I was a little thrown by the peeping. Does peeping not suggest creeping? Preying upon? These are just some thoughts more than anything.

The shades, although cool, do add to that up-to-no-good vibe a little, and I’m not sure that your grin, although well-intended, is helping matters. The black T under your Santa suit definitely isn’t.

And speaking of Santa, how married are you to the title? If it’s a pun that you’re after I was thinking ‘Captain’s Yule Log’ could be quite cute?

These are just some thoughts more than anything. Keep up the good work.

Yours forever, Clive.

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