My favorite song on the recording is "Up On the Housetop" by Dartmouth Aires. Who would have thought that anyone could do something new and different with this classic children's Christmas song? This one is a sheer joy in the tradition of the doo-wop groups of the late 50's and early 60's, guaranteed to put a smile on your face. What an incredible voice that lead singer has!
The next song, "Winter Wonderland," from North Shore,continues that great doo-wop vibe and makes this song I've known all my life sound bright and new. "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" also gets a fresh treatment from the University of Delaware Deltones. The lead vocal reminds me very much of Christina Aguilera, while the background vocals give a very urban sound to the familiar carol.
"In the Bleak Midwinter," a song written in the mid-1800's by the poet Christina Rosetti, is beautifully rendered in a suitably subtle and touching arrangement by Kinfolk. It begins simply, and builds to a powerful and complex weaving of voices before returning to simplicity at the end.
Possibly the most impressive, innovative and certainly the least familiar song on the CD is the fascinating "I Saw Three Ships" from Urban Method, which is totally different from any other version I have ever heard. What an impressive use of hip-hop and urban style!
There is a bonus track on the CD, "Jingle Bells", By Committed, which also gives a bit of an urban edge to a light-hearted version of one of the best-loved of all Christmas songs.
Overall, this is a different, delightful Christmas CD that is sure to impress you,your friends and your guests when you add it to your collection this year!