Christmas Songs is Jars Of Clay's first-ever full length Christmas album after having released the Little Drummer Boy EP more than ten years ago. With new twists on old favorites, Jars Of Clay will soon have you thinking that it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
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Now That's The Jars of Clay I Fell In Love With| Posted October 09, 2007
Your wild Christmas party is starting to slow down, everybody's is getting over their party mood, and starting to settle down, maybe they're feeling the Christmas love, maybe they're taking in the festive atmosphere. You just finished your new Relient K Christmas album, so what do you put in for your quieting party? What do you put on to set a mood for love, reflection, peace, and some time with God? Christmas Songs by Jars of Clay.
As with any great Christmas album, this is mixed with a few of new tracks, along a few old classic that set your clock back to the day of ole, and there's a quite a few classics that you won't remember, but this album changes that.
The first classic is "Wonderful Christmastime" originally done by Sir Paul McCartney. You know you've heard it, it kind of has a electronic flavoring? Well this version differentiates itself by having a more piano flavoring to it. But what really makes it a classic version is Dan Haseltine's amazing, soothing vocals. It also smoothly integrates "We Three Kings" into the song.
"Love Came Down At Christmas" is a great original tune with it's folk feel, and great instrumental work. "Hibernation Day" is the highlight of the album with it's soft musical style. A sweet snow-day lovesong, this is a great piece of work by Jars of Clay, both vocally, and musically. "Peace Is Here" is another amazing song, with it's epic type buildup, leading up to a magnificent chorus. In fact, the whole song is epic in it's nature, lyrically, vocally, musically.
It's from this point on that the album really starts slowing down, especially with tracks like "Evergreen" which are great for sitting in a comfy chair drinking hot chocolate, and enjoying a nice crackling fire.
Remember the excellent "Drummer Boy" album that came out about ten years ago by the band? The one that built up the anticipation for this album so much? Well the track are here too, but reinterpreted. "Drummer Boy" now has a constant drum sound throughout the song, giving a whole new feel to the song.
With a label change, Jars of Clay enters a whole new era for the band. And what a way to kick it off, the album is simply amazing. A array of emotions fill the album, but as in songs like "In The Bleak Midwinter," the focus is never taken off of God.
This album is really about the finer things of the Christmas season, not about presents, and food, but of love, peace, reflection, and God. You could even say this album's theme is the true meaning of Christmas. So when looking on the shelves of the music store, and you're clouded with the fragments materialism, commercialism, party planning, and other things, just look for the album with the shining star in a Rockwellian portrait. The cover says it all.
A perfect Christmas album, in October!| Posted October 09, 2007
Ah, time to sit back and enjoy the sounds of the season-in October. That's what Jars of Clay is doing with their newest album Christmas songs, a fourteen track CD with some great new songs and great performing of classics.
This album may bring back memories of older Jar of Clay from start to finish. "Winter Skin" is a great sounding Christmas tune and "in the bleak midwinter" is another impressive new song. "Evergreen" and "The Gift Of St. Cecilia" are both instrumental. "Wonderful Christmastime" is one of the best sounding Christmas songs.
The album sounds very classical at parts; even the new songs have a classical tint to them, which sound good. "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen", "Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" and "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" are some of the classics that they master on their album. "Christmastime Is Here" and "Love Came Down At Christmas" are not great.
This album will be a leading holiday CD this year, so sit back with some hot chocolate and spin Jars of Clay Christmas songs on December first.
Jars Rocks| Posted March 26, 2009
A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! This is the first word out of my mouth after listening to the tracks.
I knew the guys were on to something special when they recorded Little Drummer Boy years back. It still is one of my fave Christmas songs. I'm glad they finally decided to record a whole Christmas cd. Listening to this one will definitely become part of my holiday tradition.
One of the Best Christmas albums I've heard.| Posted December 24, 2007
Musically, this CD is absolutely great. Songs like "In the Bleak Midwinter" scream the musical skill of Jars of Clay. However, I did not feel that some of their renditions of Christmas Songs were great. "O, Little Town of Bethlehem" seemed especially weak. "Christmas Time is Here" is a great song, I just do not appreciate their interpretation of the song. On the flip side, "Drummer Boy" is honestly one of the best versions of the song I have heard. However, there are still far more good songs than bad, and the ending with "Drummer Boy" and "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" allows the album to stand despite a few flaws. It is a great album, and worth consideration, however, it is not the album of the year.
Sorry to all the die-hard Jars of Clay fans out there, that's just the way I see it. Jars of Clay is still one of the greatest bands currently in the Christian music industry.
Will their reign ever end?| Posted October 19, 2007
Will the reign Jars of Clay ever end? Their supremacy as one of the most creative and complex artists in Christian music seems to just continue. This new iteration seems to blend all the sounds Jars of Clay has been known for in a wonderful Christ-centered Christmas album. Wonderful to hear!!!!
It's beginning to SOUND a lot like Christmas...| Posted October 15, 2007
This is Jars of Clay's first Christmas release since the Little Drummer Boy EP came out in 1997. It is well worth the wait! Jars really brings the Christmas spirit, mixing the old and the new with great expertise. Their sound is better than ever. It is normal sometimes to grow tired of hearing the same Christmas songs over and over, but you don't have that issue here. What Jars of Clay does with these traditional songs is modern, without losing the integrity of the originals. They also mix in some original songs like "Hibernation Day" and "Winter Skin" that bring to mind postcard-perfect pictures of a snowy day. Personally, I would like to have heard a few more originals, but that is not really an issue here. This is truly a good album. With rich instrumentation and great melodies, this album will get you into the Christmas-y mood in no time.
Songs for the season| Posted October 14, 2007
An eclectic and well arranged collection of Christmas songs, this album introduces fresh originals as well as it presents timeless classics. It has calmly joyful arrangements that reflect the spirit of Christmas music and celebrate the reason for the season, that is, the birth of Jesus Christ.
My first reaction to this album was amazement as the varied styles and instrumentation combined to create a hybrid somewhere in between energetic happiness and quiet reflection.
Wonderful Christmastime is a pleasant melody. Love Came Down at Christmas is welcoming in its steady groove. Hibernation Day is a warm, cozy tune for when it's too cold to get out of bed. Winter Skin is like walking through chilly winter air as you're bundled up traveling down a small street with warmly lit windows. Evergreen has such an enchanting and memorable progression. Christmastime Is Here is surely enjoyable to anyone who has heard Vince Guaraldi playing it for A Charlie Brown Christmas. Drummer Boy has a different beat, but God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen is classic and new at the same time. Gabriel's Message is soothing and powerful. In the Bleak Midwinter is also memorable, and then I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day is a great way to wrap up the album. Every song has a surprise to offer. The only way to appreciate this diverse collection is to listen with undivided attention.
I enjoy how this album takes me to so many different times and places, a journey that the music evokes. This album is definitely one of the most unique Christmas albums to come around in a long time. For sure, this album provides us with new music with which to celebrate Christmas this year.