STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 159251-23496 LABEL: Independent 696859309731 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2015-10-30 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Brendan O'Regan
This album is a considerable step above the average Christmas album. The CCM hitmakers from Texas have delivered a project that is lively, exuberant, confident and even playful - all qualities on display in the pop rock "Christmastime Again". Seasonal standards are mixed with original songs and all are delivered with aplomb. "Sleigh Ride" is given some contemporary elements while "I'll Be Home For Christmas" has a pleasing uptempo treatment without losing its essential poignancy. By contrast "Joy" (a variation on "Joy To The World") is more laid back than some renditions while the album finishes with a soulful version of "O Come O Come", set this time to the music more familiar from "The Water Is Wide". Overall the vocals are excellent, both harmonies and solos, and throughout Brown Bannister's production values are as high as you'd expect from a man of his experience. 'It's Christmas' won't suit as background music at Christmas parties as people will be distracted and want to listen to the music rather than chat. Mind you they might also be moved to dance by the pacey numbers.
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MercyMe is a band synonymous with Christmas. Their last Christmas album, The Christmas Sessions, has been heralded as an instant classic and spawned innumerable hits including "Joseph's Lullaby" and "O Holy Night." This year MercyMe returns to pick up where The Christmas Sessions left off. MercyMe, It's Christmas! reinterprets classic seasonal songs mixed with originals that are worthy to become classics themselves. Soaring emotive ballads, fun up-tempo music and original compositions make this album a must for listening while decorating the tree or reflecting on the importance of the season.