Join The NRTeam
A Clever Christmas Collection
Posted December 01, 2014
By JJFrancesco_NRT, Staff Reviewer


The Modern Tradition Blender:
It's become a staple of Christmas music of late to invent new melodies for classic tunes. It helps keeps things fresh and original in a crowded market of sound-alike offerings of the same pool of songs. Cloverton takes this approach to several of their new songs.

With Mac Powell-esque vocals, the band powers through a completely reworked "What Child Is This" and brings out a new contemplative side to the lyrics that makes the song feel almost new. Combining the power in the chorus with the quiet approach to the verses makes for an artistically dynamic contrast. And the emotional closer "I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day" gets an almost lamenting melody that fits well with the somber, yet hopeful, lyrics. This melody isn't quite as much a departure from the standard, but it's noticeable and gives the track a unique feel.

Children's Choirs Automatically Give Your Brownie Points, Especially At Christmas:
The title track, a take on the classic "Joy to the World," spices up the sound with added choruses and bridges. And towards the song's climax, it brings out the kids' choir to add charm and beauty to join in a crescendo of a finish, leading to an album highlight. It may be a bit of an old trick to fall back on children's choirs to add likeability to a song, but at Christmastime, it's not only forgivable, but fitting. The addition works very well here to help lift up the second half of the song.

Closing Thoughts:
Christmas music is getting crowded, and the bar is being raised higher and higher for attention. Innovation like what Cloverton offers is essential to making an impact, and the beautiful and reflective approach the band uses makes this an EP not to be overlooked.

Song to Download Now:
"Joy to the World (We Sing Joy)" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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