Friday, November 16, 2007

Christmas Music

Laura and I have written a lot of Christmas plays. In fact, we're working on one right now. That means we also listen to a lot of Christmas music. We have a LOT of Christmas CDs in our collection and when the season rolls around again I like to get them out and get myself in a Christmassy mood. I started a bit early this year because I'm trying to find the muse for our latest Christmas play but also because I don't want to just hear each album once – I want to relish the good ones. Which ones are the good ones? I'm glad you asked. Here are my favorites.

  • Gloria – various artists (produced by Charlie Peacock and Scott Dente)
  • Amy Grant - Home for Christmas
  • City on a Hill – It's Christmastime – various artists (produced by Denny Daugherty and Steve Hindalong)
  • O Come Let Us Adore Him – various artists (produced by Steve Hindalong and Marc Byrd)
  • Celtic Woman – A Christmas Celebration
  • Over the Rhine – Snow Angels

  • Phil Keaggy – Majesty and Wonder
  • One Silent Night – various artists (produced by Monroe Jones)
  • Your King Has Come – various artists (exec producer, Matthew Smith)
  • Sarah McLaughlin – Wintersong
  • Sherri Youngward – The Sky Can Still Remember

Sherri Youngward is a new artist for me and I just got this album so I'm not sure it's going to stay in my favorites but it stands a pretty good chance. The new Michael W Smith Christmas album is growing on me and it might end up on this list too. It's been in my car for more than a week now and I'm discovering more that I like each time I play it. An early infatuation with the new Jars of Clay Christmas CD is fading pretty quickly. My love for the Sufjan Stevens Christmas Songs set also isn't what it once was.

I find myself astonished that CCM artists who almost always have a high Jesus content in all their music (like Point of Grace or Kathy Troccoli or Avalon to name just a few) will include seasonal songs (rather than songs about Christ's birth) on their albums. Why do the rules change at Christmas? Don't misunderstand me - I'm not saying that these people should only ever sing songs with lots of JPMs (Jesus per minute) in them - it's just that why is Christmas the only time that they appear to break this rule?

Greatest Hits: If I could only take three CDs along with me they would probably be

  • One Silent Night,
  • Gloria
  • It's Christmastime.
All three of them feature wonderful new songs (along with a few traditional carols) performed and arranged beautifully.

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