Steve Bell - Keening For The Dawn: Christmastide

Published Saturday 16th May 2015
Steve Bell - Keening For The Dawn: Christmastide
Steve Bell - Keening For The Dawn: Christmastide

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 145837-22892
LABEL: Signpost SP51102

Reviewed by Stephen Curry

With the volume of music received by Cross Rhythms it is impossible to review everything on time. Consequently this 2012 Christmas album by the hugely respected Canadian singer/songwriter is only now getting the critical once-over. Those who are familiar with Christendom's top songsmiths will tell you that Steve has already made a Christmas album in 1995 called 'The Feast Of Seasons' which received a 10 square rating. So it's hardly a surprise that 'Keening For The Dawn' is more finely crafted music for the holiday season. The opener "Oracles" superimposes the hope of the first advent with the liberation of the second advent in a glorious soundscape. The title track reflects the essence of "keening" (which means waiting with acute expectation) with a lively melody while the Hebrew inspired "Peace Be Unto You" conveys a hope and longing with guitar and violin accompaniment. The traditional "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" is given an upbeat makeover with some new lyrics while "Glory" reflects the view of the shepherds in the nativity story with a worshipful chorus. The whole album involves a myriad of instruments including guitars, violin, cello, ukulele, mandolin, harmonica and pump organ and also includes narrative reflections on some tracks from the British poet Malcolm Guite. This is a creative and inspired work which makes you want to embrace the advent season afresh.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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