STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 49592-14937 LABEL: Inotof 45212 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2008-10-31 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Alastair McCollum
Anyone reading the track listing and expecting the usual selection of Christmas carols from Minnesota's Sara Groves is hopefully not going to be disappointed but pleasantly surprised. These are not the traditional tunes and words most of us are used to singing, though many of the well known lyrics crop up woven into beautiful songs highlighting the wonder and beauty of the Christmas message. With her clear sweet voice and gentle piano and guitar-based backing Groves' thoughtful reworking of well known pieces engage with and invite the hearer to reconsider the Christmas story and to enjoy again celebrating the birth of Christ. The quality of her songwriting comes to the fore in the beautiful "It's True", a piano-based Groves original. Using her son Toby to read parts of the Christmas story on this track might have come across as twee, instead it reminds us of the wonder and innocence that should be at the heart of our celebrations. "Silent Night", penultimate track on the album, is another highlight, the traditional carol arranged with keyboards, guitar and piano to highlight its gentle power and message of peace. The only disappointing track is "Toy Packaging" - a whimsical rant against packaging, it doesn't fit among other songs of such quality and depth. A well above average Christmas set.
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CLASSIC CHRISTMAS WITH A UNIQUENESS THAT IS SARA GROVES.
O Holy Night evokes all that is good, warm and friendly during this special season showcasing perennial Christmas favourites as well as four new original songs.