Wednesday, November 28, 2007

best christmas album of 2007

It's not too often I get amped up on a Christmas record. I find a lot of it mundane and most of the time I'm going back to the old stuff that I grew up on.

But if I can just say, Bebo Norman's new record "Christmas From The Realms Of Glory" is likely the best Christmas album of 2007 and has quickly become one of my favorites. There are several reasons why: Musically it's very solid, and Bebo has a great voice, and the arrangements of the songs are surprisingly unique.

But I think the most catching thing about this album is the raw simplicity with which it is delivered. It's very acoustic driven - guitars, piano and Hammond organ, some layered banjo, and dulcimer. Somehow this album seems to capture the true spirit of Christmas for me. A lot of times Christmas music is so overdone - sweeping orchestral arrangements, cliche sleigh bells, dripping with consumerist gloss. But I feel like Bebo brings the focus back - the celebration, the joy, the seriousness, the weightyness that Christmas is, comes together on this album.

A couple highlight tracks...

Joy To The World:
I never really cared for this song all that much before - I always thought it sounded forced - but this is my favorite track on the album. Bebo plays this as though he were walking down the middle of a country road on Christmas morning with snow all around him, just belting this song out to all of his neighbors. He actually sounds happy playing this - you can't help but smile.

The Rebel Jesus:
This is a cover of a song written by Jackson Browne in the early 90's. I have never heard a more honest Christmas song. This lyric cuts deep and forces you to critically think about the way you celebrate Christmas every year...

We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
We get the same as the rebel Jesus

Overall it's a solid album, honestly and intentionally done, and you should check it out. If you want to take a listen, click here.



1 comment:

Jeff Lash said...

Thanks for recommendation. I'm like you...I despise most Christmas music because it is corny or overdone. There is something beautiful about simplicity. Annie and I were just talking about trying to find some solid Christmas albums. We'll have to check this one out.

I am sure you have listened to the Jars Christmas album. What do you think of it? I haven't listened to it yet but I tend to enjoy anything they put out even if it has to wear on me a bit.