A CBNmusic Christmas 2006
What better way to celebrate this joyous time than to enjoy the music that makes it so festive. Last year's CBNmusic Christmas was a great mix of holiday favorites and new classics. This year, we have an eclectic potpourri sure to add a spark to your Christmas and remind you of the real reason for the season.
Get into the Christmas mood with The Nativity Story: Sacred Songs, a collection of music inspired by the upcoming movie. This companion CD features 13 sacred Christmas songs performed by some of Christian music’s most popular artists. The album includes a few songs that have become Christmas favorites through the years, like Amy Grant’s “Breath of Heaven”, from her Home for Christmas album. There are also two new songs. Seven of Christian music’s finest artists team up for “The Virgin’s Lullaby”, a song that calls to mind the nativity scene on that special night in Bethlehem. Another new recording comes from BarlowGirl, who penned new Christmas lyrics for the 19th century hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth.” Christmas music lovers will want to add this album to their holiday collection. Album Highlights: “For Unto Us” by Point of Grace and “Angels We Have Heard on High" by Nicole C. Mullen” - belinda elliott
The great aspect of a Hillsong Christmas album is that Darlene Zschech has a team of talented singers and musicians to work with. That makes for an diverse collection of holiday songs that glorify the birth of Christ. The acoustic instrumental of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” warms your soul like a fireplace. They favor big band jazz on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, yet release their soulful side on the calming “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. The original “O Rejoice” resounds with the worship sounds that made the Australian praise team so popular. I’m thoroughly impressed with Hillsong’s way of Celebrating Christmas. Album Highlights: “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” - jennifer e. jones
There’s something very enchanting about the Celtic melodies of Moya Brennan. Her voice is light and airy as she softly sings both traditional and new holiday songs. Obviously, fans of Enya, Michelle Tumes and other like singers are more likely to enjoy this Irish rendition of yuletide joy. Listeners will get an earful of sweeping vocal arrangements and the gentle plucking of a harp. Brennan is a one-woman choir on “Carol of the Bells,” yet she gives the most delicate of performances on the final track “Silent Night”. An acquired taste but well worth it. Album Highlights: "Carol of Bells" and "Silent Night" - jennifer e. jones
In the late 1980s Michael W. Smith released an energetic, uplifting song called “Goin Thru the Motions”. Smitty’s musical work implored listeners
not to settle for the mundane realities of the world but to always do their best. Sadly, Third Day’s Christmas Offerings can best be described as "Goin Thru the Motions". Sure, Mac Powell’s earthy croon is in fine form, but the disc itself falls flat. Four unimaginative originals coupled with a paint-by-numbers rendering of such classic carols as “Silent Night”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, and “Joy to the World” make this a very ordinary Christmas collection. This is a must-have disc for hardcore Third Day fans and nobody else. - chris carpenter
Snow by Go Fish
It’s family-friendly holiday music in overdrive. Despite a certain glee club feeling, you can’t deny that Go Fish knows how to harmonize. They sing on Snow as though they are one voice. With the annual hullabaloo over saying “Happy Holidays”, it’s refreshing to hear Go Fish’s “Christmas with a Capital ‘C’”, featuring comedian Brad Stine. They still favor us with traditional songs such as “White Christmas” and “Joy to the World” while still giving every song their personal stamp. Not quite sure what the “My Jesus I Love Thee” hymn has to do with Christmas, but it is a delightful version nonetheless. Great for families and anyone who has enjoyed Go Fish’s recent kids-centered entertainment. Album Highlights: “Little Drummer Boy” and “Christmas with a Capital ‘C’” - jennifer e. jones
They created an instant Christmas classic with “The Christmas Shoes”. Now NewSong has a new holiday song to share. Despite being down one member, the four-man band still sing amazingly in unison. The Christmas Hope has the most contemporary feel of the albums this year. They turned “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” into a Top 40 pop/rock tune and let their inner blues-y soul shine on “Jingle Bell Rock”. I was really impressed with the sentimental jazz of “What a Wonderful World” and “Southbound Flight”. Of course, your heart will still stir a little at “The Christmas Shoes”. NewSong fans will have no trouble getting in the spirit with a little bit of “Christmas Hope”. Album Highlights: “The Christmas Blessing” featuring Rachael Lampa and “What a Wonderful World” - jennifer e. jones
Todd Agnew’s powerful style, and storytelling lyrics share new perspectives of the Christmas story in his third and latest project, Do You See What I See?. Each original song is written from the point of view of different eyewitnesses of Christ’s birth. Everyone’s life was changed. Personal dreams were replaced with God’s plans. But then again, He sees our future more than we can, so put your trust in Him. Other Christian music artists joined Agnew on this CD, including Vince Lichlyter from Jonah33, Mike Weaver of Big Daddy Weave, Anthony Evans, and more. Grab a copy of this uplifting album and another one to give to a friend. Album Highlights: “Did You Know?”, “He is Called Jesus,” and “In the First Light” - hannah goodwyn
Is there such a thing as Christmas chamber pop? If there is, the Annie Moses Band has a corner on the genre. The family band, comprised of musicians ranging from 13 to 23 years old, offers up the most original Christian music of the season. Backed by their parents Bill and Robin, AMB delights their fanbase with an eclectic mix. The bluegrass sleigh ride of “Christmas on Cripple Creek” is a knee-slappin’ good time. “When the Christmas Baby Cries” truly showcases Robin as a beautiful soprano. If you’re looking for originality, look no further than the House of Bread. Album Highlights: “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Christmas on Cripple Creek” - jennifer e. jones
Time and age has a way of surfacing on the vocals of legends who have been singing for 20 years or more. However, former Second Chapter of Acts singer Matthew Ward sings as splendid as ever on his new Christmas CD. Powerful yet beautiful, Ward’s voice unfolds the opening track “O Come All Ye Faithful” like a flower. Guided by a choir and organ, Ward brings a sweet tradition back to the classics. It’s nice to see that he maintained the melodic integrity of the songs, making “Silent Night” and “What Child is This” easy to sing along to. Christmas with Matthew Ward is enough to warm even the Grinchiest of hearts. Album Highlights: “Silent Night” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” - jennifer e. jones
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