Posts Tagged ‘alternative christmas music’

Chris Tomlin – Joy To The World and Born That We May Have Life

December 6, 2012

Back in 2009, Chris Tomlin released a Christmas CD titled, “Glory in the Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship.” It featured a couple of remakes and a couple originals.

As for remakes of classic Christmas carols — most just seem to not cut it — you seem to either get the pop star of the day’s take on the song (as if I cared) or you get a remake that tries too hard to be different.

What I think sets Tomlin’s remakes apart is how he weaves his songwriting abilities into the old classics without changing the song simply to make it “different.” Plus, if he makes changes, he generally adds to the song scripturally.  When a Jason Gray adds the tale of Mary as a little girl to Ave Maria, it just didn’t work for me – seemed forced.  Yet, when Tomlin adds the chorus (or is it a bridge) of “unspeakable joy” to Joy To The World — it fits.  Unspeakable joy IS the message of Joy To The World. And when the song ramps up at 1:42 — that joy jumps right out at you.

Tomlin’s “Glory in the Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship” won a 2010 Dove award for best Christmas CD . As far as contemporary Christian Christmas music, it’s right up there near the top of my list. (I’ll feature Audrey Assad’s “Winter Snow” later this month).

Here is Joy To The World and Born That We May Have Life from Christ Tomlin’s Glory in the Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship.


Jason Gray – Christmas Is Coming

December 4, 2012

Jason Gray is a contemporary Christian singer-songwriter. I discovered him via Andrew Peterson’s outstanding cd, “Behold.” (more on that one later this month).

Gray is from the Twin Cities and he’s been publishing music since the late 90’s.

His Christmas CD, Christmas Stories: Repeat the Sounding Joy, was released in October 2012. What makes this Christmas CD stand out is its storytelling and original material. He does an interesting take on Ave Maria  as well.  However, overall, I thought it was pretty average — there a couple of songs on it worth checking out.

This is one of them — it’s titled, Christmas Is Coming.

Winter Song – The Head & The Heart

December 3, 2012

Some of the songs i post this month are not overtly “Christmas.” Some are simply seasonal songs. This one is seasonal.

It’s titled “Winter Song,” and is written and performed by a Seattle band called The Head & The Heart.

They have one cd out — self titled – released in 2011.

Very odd photo on the video (it’s the cover photo of the cd ). So try to ignore the creepy photo and enjoy a wonderful tune.

First Post of 2012 – Jethro Tull’s “First Snow On Brooklyn.”

December 1, 2012

Each December for the past five years, I’ve been posting “alternative” Christmas music.

I don’t mean “alternative” as in the “punk rock/alt” music genre. Rather, I mean as an alternative to the same Christmas music you’ve been hearing on the radio for years and years.

While that “same old” Christmas music has its merits in bringing back memories fond or not so warm, there is a ton of really great Christmas music that simply goes unheard to the vast majority.

For the past two years, I have not been on facebook — this year, I am.

Over the next month, I’ll post a variety of new, old, traditional and nontraditional Christmas music. If all goes correctly, it’ll all get posted to my facebook account. If you like it, please share the posts and comment.

The first post for 2012 is a tune from the band Jethro Tull, titled “First Snow On Brooklyn.”  It was first released in September, 2003 as part of the “Jethro Tull Christmas Album,” and then again as a live recording in 2008

(Christmas at St Bride’s 2008).  Christmas at St. Bride’s is a 2-CD release — the first disk is simply a re-release of the Christmas album — disck two is a live version of the same (and features a God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Thick As A Brick medley — sweet!)

First Snow On Brooklyn is a beautiful song, Hope you enjoy it.

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