The arrangements are mostly spare, featuring Thorn on guitar and piano with occasional strings and tasteful accompaniment (Idlewild bassist Steve Pearce contributes to the vintage EBTG mood). Scritti Politti’s Green Gartside (whose "Sun in Snow" Thorn covers) also appears in a duet on Low’s "Taking Down the Tree." Less successful is Jack White’s "Cold Cold Night," set in a tame blues that doesn't much suit her voice. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" would seem a natural for Thorn, but its perennial melancholy doesn’t rise to the heights of the less familiar material. The title original, "Tinsel and Lights," is a mournful first-person story of a New York Christmas, a sad reminder of what one hopes will be a recovered city by the holidays.