A CBNmusic Christmas '05
The holiday season is officially upon us and what better way to celebrate Christmas than to share the songs that make it merry. Over the months, lots of new Christmas music has hit the shelves. We've sorted through the rack for you and provided reviews on what to get this year.
Don’t call me a Scrooge, but when the Christmas season begins, I quickly lose interest in most holiday music. Although I like Frosty and Rudolph, sometimes I want to hear songs which celebrate Jesus. For example, Come Let Us Adore Him is a great mix of newly released Christmas worship songs and old favorites, featuring well-known artists such as Third Day and Jars of Clay. Also, check out the bonus devotional guide for each song. I would describe this album as a pleasant and joyful alternative for those tired of the same old songs. Album Highlights: "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord" (Bebo Norman w/ Danielle Young of Caedmon's Call), "Manger Throne" (Third Day), "King of Angels" (Krystal Meyers w/ Josh Brown of Day of Fire) - andrea d. hicks
Bart Millard and the boys fused
together a variety of musical styles with diverse arrangements that
encompass a wide spectrum of musical influences. From the U2 styled guitar
on "It Came upon a Midnight Clear" to the Mannheim Steamroller influenced
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" to the country swing of "Silent Night," the
band leaves virtually no musical stone unturned. The Christmas
Sessions effectively bounces back and forth between religious themed carols
and rollicking renditions of time tested commercial classics. There is no real downside to this album; it is strong throughout. Album Highlights: "It Came upon a Midnight Clear," "I Heard the Bells on
Christmas Day," and "Joseph's Lullaby" - chris carpenter
A NehoSoul Christmas by Bryan Duncan & the NehoSoul Christmas
It’s blue-eyed soul for the holiday season as Bryan Duncan and his NehoSoul Band serve up a few Christmas classics. He gives old school songs like “Silent Night” and “Winter Wonderland” a jazzy spin, and he is in his groove on “Christmas Time is Here.” With only ten songs, it’s a little short, and it flows so well you don’t want the party to end so soon. You gotta love the carefree, debt-glorifying melody of “Christmas Comes But Once a Year,” and Bryan Duncan’s own “This Christmas” (“Treat every soul like it was Christmas”). Great holiday fun! Album Highlights: “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Christmas Time is Here” - jennifer e. jones
It is never too early to listen to great music. A good place to start is with “Happy Christmas,” a new collection of revamped Christmas favorites and several original holiday titles from Switchfoot, Eisley, Emery and more. This album’s strong point is its tracks of restyled classic songs, such as “Baby Please Come Home” made better by Anberlin and the smooth sound of “Carol of the Bells” perfected by Mae. Don’t expect to be initially impressed with the seven originals; it will take a few listens for the lyrics and unique sounds to grow on you. Album Highlights: “I Celebrate the Day” (Relient K), “Mary Did You Know” (Spoken), and “Carol of the Bells” (Mae) - hannah goodwyn
Strong harmonies are always a highlight listeners can enjoy from any Point of Grace album. This new project brings together both traditional carols and popular Christmas songs, such as “Jingle Bells” and “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Point of Grace puts a flavorful change on each song, but the abrupt movement from serious to overdone songs weighs its likeability down. This CD’s hidden gift is a beautiful, original song, “Let There Be Light.” Album Highlights: “In the First Light,”“Let There Be Light,” and “Breath of Heaven”- hannah goodwyn
Believe by Natalie Grant
Natalie Grant sends out her season’s greetings with Believe. It’s a mix of holiday favorites, both sacred and secular, that go from gospel to pop. The true highlight of this CD is Grant’s unbelievable singing voice, which is a joy to the world by itself. Grant’s vocals lend themselves quite well to the big band jazz sound, especially heard on “Let It Snow.” Her version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” sounds a little too much like Mariah Carey’s; however, she belts out a particularly lovely “O Come All Ye Faithful.” Also, the original title track is a tender ballad of faith with a haunting melody. Album Highlights: “Silver Bells / Savior Came For Me / O Holy Night Medley” and “I Believe” - jennifer e. jones
This is everything a Christmas album should be. Rather than falling into the too often used routine of regurgitating a compilation of slightly different renditions of traditional Christmas tunes, Steven has produced an album with a truly nice mix of traditional and original work. You’ll be put in a praising mood with the song, “Angels From The Realm of Glory,” and be getting into the Christmas spirit with “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Steven’s passion for God and family comes thru loud and clear, which is what makes him Steven Curtis Chapman. Icing on the cake of this work is the delightful storytelling introduction and concluding song by daughter Shaohannah. This album is a must have for any Christmas collection. Album Highlights: "Angels from the Realm of Glory" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" - tim crowley
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