I have a lot of Christmas recordings. I haven’t counted my CDs lately but I used to have to eliminate a few to fit them all in my 60-disc changer and that was before I could download albums into iTunes. (remember when we played actual CDs? Now it’s all on my iPod.) MercyMe has a new Christmas album out and I was so excited I pre-ordered it before I even heard it. I really enjoy MercyMe’s music all year round and I like their other Christmas album. So now that I’ve listened to it, how is it holding up and where will it fit in my Christmas collection?
Song by Song:
1. Newborn: lovely medley with bits of Away In A Manger, Hark the Herald, and original material. Starts with sweeping chords and moves into a repetitive groove.
2. Christmastime Again: An old-feeling rock song about how quickly Christmas comes around. Definitely not my favorite, partly because the feel and theme are so jarring immediately following the first track.
3. Sleigh Ride: I liked the 6/8 groove it started in but the chorus just never clicked in for me, and then when it switched time signatures at the end of the chorus it lost me.
4. I’ll Be Home For Christmas: Loved it but could do without the spoken voice faux radio announcer at the beginning of the track (it’s not bad, just a personal preference).
5. Hold On Christmas: Another rock track similar in theme to I’ll Be Home For Christmas but completely different in feel from that song.
6. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas: fun rendition.
7. Go Tell It On the Mountain: okay version of the song.
8. Do You Hear What I Hear: maybe my favorite non-original track on the album.
9. Our Lullaby: Loved it.
10. Joy: completely different, laid-back version of Joy to the World with original interludes. Really nice.
11. O Come: O Come O Come Emmanuel set to an old American folk melody with (I think) an original melody for the chorus. Pretty. The harmonies on the chorus are gorgeous. It might be one we could use in church.
You can listen to the full album here. Let me know what you think!
There are enough good tracks that it was totally worth it to get the album but tracks 2, 3 and 5 won’t make it to my Christmas playlists.