This year, the Christian music sector offers an outstanding array of new Christmas CDs. The best for several years -- we look at the A-list.
COME LET US ADORE HIM
The team that gave us the "City on the Hill" series is back with a reflective collection "Come Let Us Adore Him" featuring all new recordings.
Artists include Jars of Clay, Third Day, Bebo Norman, Caedmon’s Call, and Cindy Morgan.
The stand out song is "Here With Us" from Joy Williams.
This CD presents a mix of new songs and traditional carols.
This two-disc collection relies almost exclusively ontraditional favorites.
Around half the songs are new recordings.
As with all the WOW projects, the line up is strong – Joy Williams, Bethany Dillon, Relient K, Matthew West, Rebecca St James, Jaci Velasquez, Mark Schultz, and so on.
Standout track: "The First Noel" from Mark Schultz.
HILLSONG – CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS
Darlene Zschech and the Hillsong team’s second Christmas release "Celebrate Christmas" is an unexpected surprise.
It features a variety of arrangements in traditional and big band styles with a special guest appearance from James Morrison.
Standout song: "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" with Steve McPherson and James Morrison.
STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN - ALL I REALLY WANT FOR CHRISTMAS
This is Steven Curtis Chapman’s second Christmas CD.
The central (and stand out) song is 'All I Really Want" which focuses on a topic dear to Chapman’s heart – adoption.
"All I Really Want" tells the story of a little boy’s one item wish list to Santa, asking not for toys at Christmastime, but for a family.
This tune will be around for years. It tugs at the heart.
THE CHRISTMAS SESSIONS
Not enough can be said about MercyMe's outstanding collection of classic and modern Christmas carols.
"It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" opens with the Philadelphia Boychoir, and when the band joins in, the carol transforms into a 21st century classic with a sound akin to Coldplay or U2.
The highlight is reserved for the final song, "Joseph's Lullaby", which presents Joseph's thoughts after the birth of Jesus.
Christmas in Australia and New Zealand is all about summer, and the wonderland of the beach - a distant cry from winter and snow.
That aside, these holiday classics from Point of Grace capture a side of Christmas that young and old can still enjoy. Jolly classics like "Jingles Bells", "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", and "Frosty the Snowman".
"Breath of Heaven" is included, along with the a capella original "In the First Light", plus another new song "Let There Be Light" featuring John David Webster.