The International Staff Songsters Of The Salvation Army - When Love Was Born

Published Friday 28th September 2018
The International Staff Songsters Of The Salvation Army - When Love Was Born
The International Staff Songsters Of The Salvation Army - When Love Was Born

STYLE: Choral
RATING 5 5 5 5 5
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 173425-27434
LABEL: Salvationist Publishing & Supp

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

I recognised some of the carols collected here, like the opener "Sing We Now Of Christmas" based on the French carol "Noel Nouvelt", the old spiritual "Go Tell It On The Mountain" and, with my Scrooge Christmas record reviewer persona rising to the surface, the hugely banal "Jingle Bells". Hearteningly, there were a goodly number of new Christmas songs here. The title track, an excellent song, is composed by award-winning American CCM man Bernie Herms, which as the Songsters' leader Dorothy A Nancekievill writes in her sleevenote, "sums up the sense of wonder of that first Christmas and the love that is available for all who choose it." In view of such sentiments, it's a mystery that this album found room for songs like "Jingle Bells" and the standard "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", when they could have put in more songs of the quality of Will Todd's "Softly". Interestingly, "Softly" as well as being, to my ears, the best track on the album is the only one sung acapella. Elsewhere, it's Richard Phillips' piano which is the only accompaniment noticeable (can't say I registered the percussionist and bass guitarist listed on the sleeve). The Songsters are a good choir and the blend between these soprano, alto, tenor and bass voices is, at times, heavenly, particularly on "Softly". But some of the arrangements are too fussy for my taste. Not one of the Army's most successful Christmas albums.

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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Sample Track Listing:
1. Sing We Now Of Christmas [Listen]
2. Baby Born A King [Listen]
3. All Bells In Paradise [Listen]
4. The Holly And The Ivy [Listen]
5. For Him All Stars Have Shone [Listen]
6. Personent Hodie [Listen]
7. When Love Was Born [Listen]
8. Bethlehem Carol [Listen]
9. Go Tell It On The Mountain [Listen]
11. Lux Aurumque [Listen]
12. Dance And Sing (Il Est Ne) [Listen]
13. Softly [Listen]
14. Let Heaven And Nature Sing [Listen]
15. Rejoice And Be Merry [Listen]
16. In The Face Of A Child [Listen]
17. Ring Out Those Bells [Listen]
18. Christmas Medley [Listen]
19. Jingle Bells [Listen]
20. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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