Christian artists shine with Christmas offerings

As we round the cor­ner toward Christ­mas here’s a few of my favorite Christ­mas CDs from Chris­tian artists that made their way across my desk this sea­son.

Christ­mas: A News­boys Hol­i­day” Michael Tait’s range comes out on this CD. His smooth, vel­vety vocals are rem­i­nis­cent of Nat King Cole on “The Christ­mas Song” — one of the all-time great hol­i­day songs. Before join­ing the news­boys, Tait had this song as a hid­den track on his “Lose This Life” CD. Tait’s vocals on this CD might be a sur­prise to many rock fans, but he trans­lates per­fect­ly to Christ­mas music.

Don’t like lis­ten­ing to one artist when it comes to Christ­mas tunes? Then check out the­se two offer­ings– “The Essen­tial Christ­mas Col­lec­tion” and “Beth­le­hem Sky­line 2.”

Essen­tial is a com­pi­la­tion of artists from the Prov­i­dent Label Group (a divi­sion of Sony) and fea­tures some of the best-known Chris­tian artists. From Third Day and Mac Pow­ell get­ting the CD going with “Angels We Have Heard On High” to Bran­don Heath’s “The Night Before Christ­mas,” Revive’s “The First Noel” to Michael W. Smith’s emo­tion­al “All is Well.” There’s a Celtic feel to Cast­ing Crown’s ver­sion of “Joy to the World.” New­com­er Ker­rie Roberts’ vocal range is dis­played on “Oh Holy Night,” and Build­ing 429’s grit­ty ver­sion “What Child is This?” is fun. As the name implies this is an essen­tial addi­tion to your Christ­mas col­lec­tion.

Beth­le­hem fea­tures new music from Centricity’s sta­ble of artists — Jason Gray, Down­here, Lanae’ Hale, Six­teen Cities and oth­ers. The new songs are a pleas­ant reprieve from all the oldies. BUT don’t fret, clas­sics such as “Silent Night,” “Away in the Manger,” and “Lit­tle Drum­mer Boy” are in the mix. I real­ly like Downhere’s offer­ings. For some rea­son I’m remind­ed of Queen when­ev­er I hear this band. The new music is rea­son enough to pick up this CD.

Patrice Wilson’s “A Christ­mas Bless­ing” and The Isaacs “Christ­mas” round out my selec­tions. The­se were two new artists for me. I enjoy Wilson’s clas­sic ren­di­tions of Christ­mas sta­ples such as “Win­ter Won­der­land,” “Jin­gle Bells” and “O Come all Ye Faith­ful.” When lis­ten­ing to this CD, I just want­ed to curl up next to a fire with a hot cup of cocoa. 

If your look­ing for some blue­grass tints to your Christ­mas tunes, then The Isaacs is your way to go. Com­plete with man­dolin, fid­dle and ban­jo the group offers up “I’ll Be Home for Christ­mas,” “Sil­ver Bells,” and “God Rest Ye Mer­ry Gen­tle­man.” New songs include “It’s Christ­mas Time Again”, “San­ta Claus is Real” and “The Sav­ior of the World Has Come.”

Enjoy.

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