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The Christmas Sessions
MercyMe, Mercy Me
The Christmas Sessions
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Christian
 
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

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CD Details

All Artists: MercyMe, Mercy Me
Title: The Christmas Sessions
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Sony
Original Release Date: 1/1/2005
Re-Release Date: 9/27/2005
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Christian
Styles: Holiday & Wedding, Vocal Pop, Pop & Contemporary, Praise & Worship
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: The Christmas Sessions
UPC: 827969641422

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CD Reviews

Guitar Driven, Rock Oriented Christmas
Mark Baker | Santa Clarita, CA United States | 11/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Many artists change their signature sound when releasing a Christmas album, going for the more traditional sounds of 40 years ago. These CD's are instant classics that feel like old friends the first time they are spun.

Other artists decide to release Christmas CD's that stick with their normal sound, whatever that may be. These projects take a few years to grow on the listener, but they often become favorites because they offer something different from everything else. This CD falls into the second category.

Mercy Me has made a name for itself in the Christian music industry with three highly successful projects already under their belt. While I wouldn't exactly classify their sound as straight rock, they are certainly rockier then many adult contemporary artists they are often classified with. They take their guitar driven music and wrap it around some Christmas classics. The result is unsurprisingly great.

Eleven of the twelve tracks on the CD are well known standby songs like "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear," "Winter Wonderland/White Christmas," "Drummer Boy," or "O Holy Night." Each track features drums and guitar heavily. For example, you can really hear the drum and bass on "O Holy Night." It's an arrangement that I wouldn't have thought of, but it works.

Each of these songs is sped up, some more then others, from what you are used to. You might not be able to sing along the first time through, but by the second or third you will hit all the notes along with them since they do stick with the original melody. Occasionally, the also through in new words, as in "Gloria." And for those wondering, this isn't a new take on Michael W. Smith's classic reworking, but an arrangement that sticks much closer to the original carol.

There are a couple tracks that don't work as well. "Christmas Time is Here" isn't a fast song. Of course, it's also ruined by the fact that someone with a good voice is singing it. I will forever only love the version from the Charlie Brown special. "Silent Night" becomes a country church version that would have fit on lead singer Bart Millard's recent hymns project. I don't care for the arrangement, but those who enjoy upbeat country will.

My biggest disappointment is the lack of original songs. The final track, "Josephs' Lullaby" is the only new song. Appropriately enough, it is the slowest track here. This piano driven ballad is a tender take on what Joseph might have sang to Jesus that first Christmas night asking for a good night sleep before the reality of saving the world becomes His burden.

It will be a couple years before this CD is one I reach for at the start of the Christmas season. But it will be one that gets lots of play this year and in years to come."
Traditional songs in an untraditional way
Music Lover | USA | 11/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"MercyMe does a nice job making traditional Christmas songs come alive by making them more modern day sounding. For the traditionalists among us let me reassure you that they've not changed the overall sound and meaning of the songs, they've instead made them more upbeat. While they've added very little overall to the songs, they've made them their own by using the musical instruments of today (electric guitar etc..) and adapting it to fit their style. I, like many people out there, worked at a mall in my late teens and early twenties so I got so fed up with Christmas music that it took well over 10 years before I could listen to it again. This cd is a Christmas cd that's different so if you know someone that is sick of hearing Christmas music pick it up and put it in as a nice compromise! :-)"
Great Christmas Album
blbooks | 10/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"MercyMe adds their own twist to traditional Christmas hymns or carols by giving them rock arrangments not only changing the tempo, but the melody as well, particularly when it comes to the chorus. In a few instances, they change the words as well, for instance, adding lyrics to Gloria (Angels We Have Heard On High). But despite the un-traditional approach to these traditional songs, the album works for me. True, not all people respond positively to new arrangements of old favorites, but many do. :)

Songs on the album include It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, Gloria, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, Winter Wonderland/ White Christmas, Christmas Time Is Here, Silent Night, Away, Drummer Boy, I Heard the Bells, O Holy Night, and an original song written by MercyMe's Bart Millard, Joseph's Lullaby.

The album varies in tempo, some fast and some slow. But overall, it is a pleasant Christmas album. There aren't any songs I dislike. My favorites include Christmas Time Is Here and I Heard the Bells."