THE ONE WITH ALL THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC

Well, i figure if i don’t talk about Christmas music now, then nobody will care what i have to say… so here is a rather quick take on some of the latest Chrismas projects added to my collection… i’m not sure that any of this year’s releases have the stamina to become staples like A Charlie Brown Christmas or Bing Crosby’s Christmas albums, but we’ll see how it works out… The links are all for iTunes, because i don’t recommend going out to the stores today…

Michael W Smith – It’s a Wonderful Christmas

It almost doesn’t seem like Christmas if there’s not a new Christmas album from either Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman or Michael W Smith… i guess this year it was Smitty’s turn and he knocks it out of the park once again with another solid effort that’s fun for the whole family though the younger ones may tune out due to lack of familiar songs… “Song for the King” is my highlight…

Relient K – Let It Snow Baby, Let it Reideer

This one’s for the Christmas party that’s long since gotten out of control… another raucous mix of reworked Christmas classics (some of which appear on the previous RK Christmas album) with some nice breaks… It takes an open mind, i think, to enjoy this one during traditional festivities as there’s not much room for reflection and the music begs to be center stage, but it’s a good party album… my highlight: “Celebrate the Day“…

Mindy Smith – My Holiday

Mindy has a pretty sweet voice and these arrangements are very elegant and enjoyable… this one may end up being something of a classic with a really nice overall sound that will appeal to more mature tastes… the kids may not enjoy this one so much, but it’s definitely worth picking up… my highlight: “Follow the Shepherd Home“…

Jars of Clay – Christmas Songs

Apparently, this is the album they’ve wanted to make for a long time… now that they have, we can see why… it’s somewhat unconventional in that the new tracks have a bit of an agenda to them, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing… it’s another example of how music and faith can be succesfully intertwined to create a happy marriage of sorts… definitely not the most appealing to the kids, but again, it’s a worthwhile addition… they’ll grow into it… “Peace Is Here” is my highlight…

Mandisa – Christmas Joy

chiming in with a 4-song EP, Mandisa, the diva, mixes tradition with flare and originality… There’s a good chance that everyone will like this one because there are the staples, “Joy to the World” and “O Holy Night” and the duet with Matthew West (“Christmas Makes Me Cry“) is nice, but for me, the Motown-esque opener, “What Christmas Means to Me” is the highlight…

Bebo Normon – Christmas… From the Realms of Glory

Another former Essential Records artist branching out and starting anew with a Christmas album… this ones really nice… definitely suits Bebo and some of the tracks work as just worship songs… overall it’s a really good collection of new and traditional tunes… i like Bebo in general and since his personality and style really comes through on the album, i like the album… Highlight is “Born to Die“…

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra – A Timeless Christmas

Here’s one for the whole family to enjoy… unless you don’t like jazz, big band, and swing music… it’s a lot of fun and is sure to become the favorite for many… the kids will like it with tracks like “Jingle Bells“, “Sleigh Ride, and the original, “Frosty the Bluesman“… my highlight is easily “Little Drummer Boy

Diamond Rio – The Star Still Shines

for fans of country music flare and good Christmas music fun, this one will certainly fit the bill… it’s a nice album and the group definitely owns each song, giving it a nice distinctive feel to it… my highlight is “Sleigh Ride,” but there’s quite a few nice tunes here…

Christine Evans – Take Me to Bethlehem

Another EP and this one’s from the young Canadian singer-songwriter… it’s a nice 3-song album and the highlight for me is the rocked up version of “Mary, Did You Know“…

Jump5 – Christmas Like This

this one is for the kids and for the kids only… if you’re over the age of 20 and act like you like this one, you will be mocked mercilessly straight through to the new year… seriously though, it’s a teenie pop album and his has some appeal for parties… i’ll say that “Merry Merry Christmas” is the highlight for me…

Yolanda Adams – What a Wonderful Time

Nice bit of horns, nice touch of gospel, spectacular vocals, and a whole lot to like here, but it won’t appeal to everyone… my highlight is the title track…

A FEW OTHERS I MISSED…

i’m running short on time, but here’s a few more albums worth considering…

Various – Bethlehem SkylineChristmas with the Rat PackKeith L Cooper – A Guitar’s CarolJosh Groban – NoelDavid Phelps – One Wintry Night

BEFORE I GO

i want to wish you all a very spectacular, fabulous, meaningful, and blessed Christmas…

COMING SOON

i’ll talk about the next great American band…. i’ll talk about The Clash of the Choirs… i’ll definitely talk about football… i might talk a little about politics… and i’ll post more interviews, reviews and features at everyone’s favorite website called theTRu…

peace… love… bdg..