Joy For Christmas Day 903


rovi.MR0000420448 9/30/03 Used

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Review Text The two-time Grammy winner checks in with her first Christmas disc in ten years, drawing from all the unique traditions that have enhanced her career as a decorated country artist -- including folk, bluegrass, and Celtic. The key to a strong holiday CD is finding clever new arrangements of the classics and offering originals that present the spirit in a unique way. Mattea does both, opening with an Irish folk-styled "Christmas Collage" featuring marching drums, bells, and a small choral group. The Celtic flavors tag along throughout, informing both her vocal approach and instrumentation (pennywhistle, mandolin) on a jubilant, Handel-inspired "Unto Us a Child Is Born" and the more subtle and wistful "Straw Against the Chill." "Baby King" blends steel guitar and a country gospel choir behind Mattea's most powerful delivery, and the similarly organic country flavors make the clap-along "When the Baby Grew Up" a wildly irresistible back-porch burner. Mattea is also aces on more traditionally arranged pieces like "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," which she performs with only a gentle guitar accompaniment. Definitely one of 2003's best holiday treats. ~ Jonathan Widran

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Christmas Collage - 4:36
  2. 2. Unto Us a Child Is Born - 3:52
  3. 3. Angels We Have Heard on High - 3:54
  4. 4. Straw Against the Chill - 5:50
  5. 5. Baby King - 4:06
  6. 6. When the Baby Grew Up - 5:59
  7. 7. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - 3:06
  8. 8. O Come All Ye Faithful - 4:49
  9. 9. All Because of Him - 4:43
  10. 10. Sing, Mary, Sing - 4:14
  11. 11. There's Still My Joy - 5:09

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