Ahhh… Christmas time is here (Part 1)

I love Christmas music and I usually start playing it right after Remembrance day!  This year has a bumper crop of new releases.  So much so that I am going to do the Christmas reviews in two parts.  I will do Part 2 later this month and try to catch some late releases as well.   First, though, I would like to plug my daughter’s CD, Dreaming of Christmas.  It was released late last year but garnered Best Seasonal Album nominations at the Canadian Gospel Music Association Awards this year.  These are Christmas favorites in a timeless jazz setting.   Check out her music at  www.Magsthesinger.com or see her Silent Night video, which shows off her artistic talent as well.

Toby Mac- Christmas in Diverse City

This is a truly diverse collection.  Toby Mac has gotten together some of the coolest artists in Christian music to help him on this CD.   “Christmas this year” is destined to be a classic with the unmistakable vocals of Leigh Nash.  “First Noel” with Owl City is a great mix of styles.  Other notable contributors include Jamie Grace on “Mary’s Boy Child”. “Little Drummer Boy” cashes in on drum-line sensibilities in a highly entertaining fashion.  The second half of the album features vocal contributions by his band members and is not as strong.  Still, this is likely to be one of the top selling Christina releases this Christmas

Hawk Nelson- Christmas

There is just something about power punk or ska that sounds joyous to me.  This EP from the Canadian group,  Hawk Nelson, starts out with a raucous “Hark the Herald Angels Sing/O Come all Ye Faithful”.  “Up on the Housetop”is the Irish Rovers on way too much caffeine.  Hawk Nelson also shows a softer side with a great “The Holly and The Ivy”.   It is too bad that this album is so short.  This is just too much fun!  One of my personal favorites.

David Crowder Band-Oh for Joy

I have always loved David Crowder’s creative and contemporary arrangements overlayed with his distinctive voice.  This EP has great versions of “Joy to the World“, “O come, O come Emmanuel” and “Go Tell it on the Mountain”.  The second half of the album shifts to live performances with a wonderfully worshipful “O Holy Night”and “Silent Night”.  Again, this album is rather short but this is definitely one I will go to when I tire of the same old yuletide fare.

Wow Christmas 2011

Wow is essentially Christian music’s annual greatest hits compilations.  This is the first one in many years dedicated to Christmas releases.  This double-length compilation contains many of the artists mentioned here and is a great way to sample songs.  Some of the other  highlights include the Newsboys with “Jingle Bell Rock”,  Audrey Assad’s “ Winter Snow”, Third Day’s “Born in Bethlehem”, Tenth Avenue North’s “Deck the Hall”,  and Chris Tomlin’s “Emmanuel”.  There is not a weak song among the group.  Definitely a worthy addition to the Wow family of compilation CDs.

One response to “Ahhh… Christmas time is here (Part 1)

  1. I know they are not Christian artists, but I really like the Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan comb on God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings.

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