Gaither Vocal Band - Christmas Gaither Vocal Band Style
STYLE: Southern Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 50268-14858 LABEL: Gaither Music Group SHD2786 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2008-11-28 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Simon Redfern
This is the latest festive offering from the Gaither Vocal Band, their first since 'Still The Greatest Story Ever Told' 10 years ago. This release seems to have sparked much debate in the US amongst committed Gaither fans as to whether this release strays too far from the accepted norm, but for the vast majority of listeners who are neutral on the subject the CD is a pretty pleasant and relaxed affair. There's a mix of hugely familiar Christmas classics ranging from "White Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland" to the more traditional carols in "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" or "Away In A Manger" as well as some home-grown Gaither material. As you would expect from the Gaithers, presentation in every respect is immaculate from the polished music and vocals right through to the glossy CD insert (complete with pictures of a cosy roaring fire and Christmas tree)! I have to admit to being positively surprised when "Winter Wonderland" kicked off the CD in a chilled-out lounge jazz style, followed on by an acapella version of "O Little Town Of Bethlehem". This one reminded me of The Flying Pickets to begin with (remember them?) but that link soon disappeared into the ethos with some terrific harmonies making for a very atmospheric piece. Further on, we get "O Holy Night" with a grand theatrical intro, which thankfully fades to allow the band's vocal strengths to shine through with this not sounding too far removed from the likes of Il Divo. "Christmas In The Country" gives a nod to the more familiar Southern American roots with a country flavour, a song which I found a little too sickly sweet to be of any great merit. In a nutshell, the CD is a very good buy for those looking for some nice background festive atmosphere, tainted only by occasional cringesome theatricals.
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In their brand new musical masterpiece, the Gaither Vocal Band captures the wonder and beauty of Christmas as never before in this breathtaking recording of Christmas classics. Featuring smooth, intricate harmonies, majestic orchestration and songs that transport us to the heart of Christmas, the Gaither Vocal Band finally releases the ideal CD to enhance any celebration, calm the shop-weary, soothe the frenzied and ignite hope in anyone.