STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 32890-13126 LABEL: Essential 067003072526 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2007-10-01 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Mark Tiddy
This 14-track album from the CCM hitmakers gives a shot in the arm to the moribund genre of Christmas music. The band have done two things with this album, the first being to take a load of well known and slightly lesser known Christmas songs and freshen them up by either changing their stylistic approach or re-writing some of the melodies. Secondly, they've added some of their own Yuletide songs. The band's version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" clearly stands out with its soft yet clear vocals and the inventiveness of its arrangement. Other songs such as "Wonderful Christmastime" follow this pattern of dynamic variation helping to contribute to what is one of the best Christmas albums around.
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Multi-platinum and three time GRAMMY Award winners Jars of Clay celebrate the season with an album full of traditional and original gems. 'Christmas Songs' is the tenth full length release from the Nashville-based band.
Formed in 1993, Jars of Clay have been superstars on the Christian music charts - 17 US number one radio hits - while also enjoying success at mainstream radio in the US. Never losing sight of their roots, in 2007 the band was awarded Contemporary Rock Album of the Year by the Gospel Music Association.
While celebrated for their music and writing, Jars of Clay are also engaged with social issues, particularly the devastations occurring in Africa. In 2002 the band - Dan Haseltine, Stephen Mason, Matt Odmark and Charlie Lowell - founded Blood: Water Mission, a not for profi t group that since its inception has brought clean water to over 100,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa.
A must-have for new and old fans alike.