Wednesday, December 7, 2016

2016 Christmas Projects - Part 1

I love all things Christmas. Christmas music normally starts playing at my house in early November. Several Southern Gospel artists have released new Christmas projects this year. Here's a quick overview of three projects that have been released this year. I'll cover three more in a later post!

Glory to God in the Highest - Kingdom Heirs

I like the song selection of this project. It's easy to fall into the trap of picking the most familiar songs of Christmas and having a few new ones. It was also a really good mix of secular, fun Christmas songs and Christian Christmas songs. It also has some country, some big band and some classic sounding songs.

Original or new Christmas songs are hard to come by, but they found a couple of great ones! If you're looking for a good quartet Christmas CD, this is must add to your collection.

Favorite Songs -

  • "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" - Love hearing Jeff Chapman featured on this song. 
  • "King of Eternity" - I wasn't familiar with this Squire Parsons song, but love that the Kingdom Heirs included this one.
  • "Singing to the King"
  • "Glory to God in the Highest"

Song List -

1. "Jesus Is Born Today (It Is His Birthday)"
2. "Glory to God in the Highest"
3. "Mary Did You Know"
4. "Singing to the King"
5. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
6. "Christmas Cookies"
7. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
8. "The Christmas Wish"
9. "The King of Eternity"
10. "Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child"

The Keys to Christmas - Jeff Collins

Jeff Collins is a producer and arranger and pianist who has worked on hundreds of albums in gospel music. With this new instrumental project, it's his turn to come out from behind the scenes.

I'll be honest, I'm normally not one to listen to instrumental CDs. I like the voices and singing, but this project definitely got my attention. I really loved the song choices here as well, several not your average Christmas songs! "The Man With the Bag" is probably the song that is least known. I like that he also chose different styles from big band sounds to easy listening.

Favorite songs -

  • "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" - When I first heard this one, I went back to make sure I was hearing it right. I love the opening song of Downton Abbey included. Such a cool touch!
  • "Go Tell It on the Mountain" - I love the soulful approach to this one!
  • "Baby It's Cold Outside" - Nice touch with the sax on this song. 
  • "Carol of the Bells" - This is one song that I love instrumental and Jeff's version did not disappoint!

Song List -

1. "Medley: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; O Come, All Ye Faithful; Joy to the World"
2. "Baby It's Cold Outside"
3. "The Man With the Bag"
4. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
5. "Linus and Lucy"
6. "Go Tell It on the Mountain"
7. "Mary Did You Know"
8. "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow"
9. "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"
10. "Carol of the Bells"
11. "O Come, O Come Emanuel"

Silent Night: Christmas for Quiet Reflection - Joseph Habedank

If you're looking for an easy listening Christmas project, this is one you need to pick up. The title is definitely spot on, Christmas for Quiet Reflection. I love that this is just Joseph's voice and simple piano accompaniment for all songs.

If you are in the mood for traditional Christmas songs, this is the one to listen to. I love his take on a few of my favorite Christmas carols. You really get to hear his lower register on several songs that you don't normally hear.

Favorite Songs -

  • "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"
  • "O Holy Night" - This sounds like the same arrangement that several gospel artists use, but love Joseph's voice on this song.
  • "O Come All Ye Faithful"

Song List -

1. "Prelude"
2. "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"
3. "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"
4. "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"
5. "What Child Is This"
6. "O Come All Ye Faithful"
7. "Silent Night"
8. "O Holy Night"

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for noting the new Christmas music albums. I am enjoying jeff collins' cd. love the 'God rest ye merry gentleman'


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