Friday, November 28, 2014

Sing We Now of Christmas

NOW we can talk about Christmas music! I do not like to get it out until the day after Thanksgiving--but then I've got it playing nearly 24/7 through the new year.

 My two favorite Christmas albums are non-traditional ones. It was about five years ago that our church introduced us to Andrew Peterson's epic Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ. I cannot praise it highly enough. It is a continuous journey through the Old Testament, seeing the shadows and pointers to the Messiah, culminating in Jesus' birth. Moves me to tears every single time--I cannot sing along to "Labor of Love" without weeping. Please, please, if you have not heard this music, do yourself a favor and buy it this year! Today it is actually on sale for only $8.99 (a two-CD set). Also, check to see whether the live performance might be happening in your area--Andrew Peterson and friends go on tour every December and perform the entire album. Perfect December date.

I also love Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man from Sovereign Grace Music (full review here). The CD is only $8; digital downloads are about the same price. All-new songs that magnify the incredible truth and beauty of the Incarnation.

Given how amazing that one is, I didn't hesitate to buy Sovereign Grace's new Christmas album, Prepare Him Room. I haven't listened to it yet, but if it's half as good as Savior, it will be worth every penny of the $7 sale price (good through Monday)!

Other albums I look forward to every December include:
David Phelps - Joy, Joy
Mariah Carey - Merry Christmas
Straight No Chaser - Holiday Spirits
Handel's Messiah
Selah - Rose of Bethlehem
Sojourn - Advent Songs

And a few favorite songs not on the above albums:
"One King" - David Phelps, O Holy Night
"How Many Kings" - Downhere, How Many Kings
"A Strange Way to Save the World" - 4Him, WOW Christmas (Red)
"This Baby" - Steven Curtis Chapman, Christmas is All in the Heart
"Welcome to Our World" - Michael W. Smith, WOW Christmas (Yellow)
"The Night Before Christmas" - Brandon Heath, The Night Before Christmas

Also keep your eye on Amazon: Not only do they typically offer one free Christmas song download every day of December--but there are TONS of albums you can listen to for free if you have Amazon Prime! (We were several months into our membership before I realized this!)

Finally, one more bonus: I recently downloaded a FREE album of new Christmas music from Stephen Miller called Light Has Broken Through. And you can also name your price on Songs for the Incarnation from Cardiphonia. Looking forward to checking those out.

What are your favorite Christmas albums? 


Danielle said...

I just started listening to Christmas music today. My tastes run decidedly toward traditional, which probably explains why I don't like "Savior" and have never tried Andrew Peterson's album. I've had a hard time getting into his music, honestly. Maybe I should give it a try again and see if it'll grow on me.

I love Handel's Messiah, Jewel's Joy, Josh Groban's Noel, Selah's Rose of Bethlehem, and then random stuff and the classic "fun" non-religious stuff like "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

Briana Almengor said...

We have the SGM "Savior" and do enoy that. I think my hubby put their recent album on our spotify account. So nice to have spotify! I love being married to a music lover. I call him my in house D.J. :)

I want to take a look at the 2 disc album "Behold the Lamb of God" given I'm reading the devo. this year.

Amy said...

oh Danielle! please try BTLOG this year!! think of it not as "Christmas music" but as "modern-day oratorio on the Incarnation" Messiah, but fewer instruments and voices :) we listened to it for the first time this year on the way home yesterday and I wept through the whole thing. seriously.

I admit AP's voice is NOT my favorite...but he is such a brilliant storyteller that I have learned to not care :)

The fascinating thing to me about Savior is that somehow, even though it is all new songs, it SOUNDS like "Christmas music" to me. I can't pinpoint what they did to accomplish that--but I've thought so since the first time I listened. Not sure if it's certain instruments, or certain features of the songwriting, or what.

Will have to check out Josh Groban!

Bri - so nice to have an in-house DJ...I have to play that role here ;) and you too...BTLOG!! get it!

Danielle said...

Ok, I will Amy. I know what you mean. Some artists are that way. Sara Groves is that way to me. I love her writing I always buy her stuff even if it doesn't grab me right away because I KNOW I will end up loving it. So Andrew Peterson might be that type of artist for me.