Undoubtedly perennial events like Thanksgiving Day, and even the Christmas Tree Lightings have yet to take place, much less Christmas Carols. My first reaction to this CD was; ‘are we there yet’? Nondescript as well is the outlook of the skyline above. There are no Angels and trumpets yet singing on high, as it was some many centuries ago back in Bethlehem.
Building on the success of their Vol. 1 project, an ensemble of Centricity artistes assembled to recreate the Bethlehem skyline euphoria with a Vol.2.
Me-in-Motion starts out with a sweet-but-steady rhythm, with an acoustic blend of guitar and piano in “Give It Away” before the tempo is cranked up to a mid-tempo riff for the classic hit “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree,” made popular by Brenda Lee. With a thoughtful message, “we should remember to spread the Christmas spirit by sharing with everyone around us”. Christmas will never be the same without the classic rendition of “Silent Night”, beautifully sang by Downhere after the folksy-pop “Christmas in Our Hearts” that reminds you of the Beatles.
Apparently Downhere is the only other returning artist joined by some of the newer acts for this second project. Meanwhile Sixteen Cities performs a heartfelt version of “O Holy Night.” Humor has also found its way into Bethlehem Skyline 2 with Lanae’ Hale’s original song, “Starving Artist Christmas,” which became a fan favorite on the previous year’s Bethlehem Skyline Tour. Ingrained within Lanae’s mellifluous chant are some feel good,heads-up messages. With some Country flavor lacing High Valley’s performance of “Away In A Manger” and a poignant original composition from Jason Gray, “Love Has A Name.” A poetic stroll through virtual Bethlehem marked Andrew Peterson’s entrance, and a subtle change in the focus with “Long, Long Ago”. This followed by a melancholic rock-n-roll version of the classic “Carol of the Drummer Boy” to pep up the Christmas mood by Matt Papa, before ending with the soothing gamut “Hope Is Come”.
The arrangement of Bethlehem Skyline worked well, even throughout the album and compensates for its early release, or else the project risk being forgotten in a jiffy!
No doubt Bethlehem Skyline will stir a reflective mood in listeners to celebrate the main reason for the season: Jesus Christ!
Bethlehem Skyline2 Track Listing:
1.Give It Away – Me In Motion
2.Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Me In Motion
3.Christmas In Our Hearts – Downhere
4.Silent Night – Downhere
5.Do You Hear What I Hear – Jason Gray
6.Love Has A Name – Jason Gray
7.Away In A Manger – High Valley
8.Carol Of The Bells – Lanae’ Hale
9.Starving Artist Christmas – Lanae’ Hale
10.Morning Star – Sixteen Cities
11.O Holy Night – Sixteen Cities
12.Long, Long Ago – Andrew Peterson
13.Little Drummer Boy – Matt Papa
14.Hope Has Come – Matt Papa