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JfH Christmas


We at the JFH love Christmas. And what would the Christmas season be without Christmas music?! Well, since it's that time of year once again, we're celebrating the season and its music by all of us picking our favorite holiday tunes. We've each aimed to select our top three Christian market releases as well as our top two traditional projects that we've grown up with over the years. So without further ado, here's our Top 5 Christmas albums... Candy Cane
garland
john dibiase
1 Jars Of Clay, Christmas Songs -
"It's tough to capture the Christmas spirit in most modern Christmas music but Jars of Clay does it seemingly effortlessly as they craft a fresh and festive full-length Christmas debut."
2Relient K, Let It Snow, Baby... Let It Reindeer -
"While this release might be mixing 'old Relient K' with new 'Relient K' a bit too much, there's enough humor and heart pumped into these tracks that make for some truly memorable modern Christmas recordings."
3Rebecca St. James, Christmas / Steven Curtis Chapman, All I Really Want For Christmas (Tie) -
"When it comes to these two CCM staples, both have recorded some great new takes on favorites while introducing some really great originals. Both are in my annual Christmas tune rotation."
4Percy Faith, Christmas Melodies -
"Composer Percy Faith created some of the most beautiful instrumental Christmas albums you'll ever hear. This one in particular really stands out, even offering a couple fun little vocal tracks like "We Need A Little Christmas."
5Spike Jones, Spike Jones Christmas / Bing Crosby, White Christmas (Tie) -
"I was going to go exclusively with one or the other, but both are Christmas favorites. Crosby is not only in two great Christmas films ("Holiday Inn" and "White Christmas"), but he has definitely been "The Voice Of Christmas." Band leader Spike Jones, on the other hand has taken his silly and fun approach to music and applied that to one of the most wonderful Christmas albums out there. Amazing how he can go from the hilarious "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" to the gorgeous, tender ballad "Christmas Cradle Song." Pure genius."


JFH ornament Artists I Want To See A Christmas Project From: -
Audio Adrenaline (I'll accept an EP. "Little Drummer Boy" is a good start), Family Force 5, Plumb, Project 86 (who recently recorded a song!), Switchfoot, and Needtobreathe

garland
jm farro
1Third Day, Christmas Offerings -
"Mac Powell's incredible voice makes this Christmas album one of my all-time favorites. Third Day really knows how to handle traditional Christmas tunes. Yet their original, "Christmas Like a Child," is the one that brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it."
24Him, The Season of Love -
"This album captures 4-Him at their very best. If it only had one song on it--their original "A Strange Way to Save the World"--it still would be worth the price in my book."
3NewSong, The Christmas Shoes -
"I loved this album well before its title song was turned into a TV movie. It's one of the first Christmas albums I listen to each year, and it gets better with time. "Sing Noel" and "Light Your World" are two original tunes that I consider classics."
4Spike Jones, It's A Spike Jones Christmas -
"If I had to pick one "secular" Christmas album, this would be it hands-down. Spike Jones was one of my dad's favorite musicians, and he played this old album so much that it became filled with scratches and skips. I was ecstatic when I discovered it on CD several years ago. It's my favorite for baking Christmas treats by!"
5Burl Ives, A Holly Jolly Christmas -
"Burl Ives has recorded my favorite folksy renditions of Christmas tunes. While his fun-filled "Holly Jolly Christmas" and "Snow for Johnny" were two of my favorites as a child, the ones that touch my heart most today are "Christmas is a Birthday" and "Christmas Child."

garland
karen m
1Michael W. Smith, Christmas -
"This is a grand MWS production in every way. There are amazing vocal choir pieces, glorious instrumental songs, and old favorites arranged in new ways."
2Kevin Max, Holy Night -
"You will undoubtedly enjoy this Christ-centered Christmas album, as Kevin lends his familiar and pleasing voice to our favorite carols of the season."
3Vince Guaraldi, A Charlie Brown Christmas -
"This is a seasonal classic from 1965, yet it never grows old! Who wouldn't smile and fondly remember the music from the cartoon in which Charlie Brown was depressed by the commercialism of Christmas, yet comes to know the true meaning of the season."

JFH ornament Artists I Want To See A Christmas Project From: -
Salvador - "I think it would be fabulous to have a Latin-inspired Christmas album. Too fun!"

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josh taylor
1various artists, Happy Christmas Volume 3 -
"This compilation actually makes me excited for Christmas, because it means I get to put it in and listen to it. Old favorites like Bleach, Cadet, Hangnail, and Earthsuit all contributed to it, and I'm the happiest boy in the whole world at Christmas because of it."
2Carman, A Long Time Ago... in a Land Called Bethlehem -
"Are you kidding me," you're probably saying. And I do not care! I grew up on this cassette. Carman was a very critical part of my childhood and I know he was a crucial part of many other's as well, though most just probably won't admit it."
3Relient K, Deck The Halls, Bruise Your Hand -
"I haven't actually heard all of Let It Snow, Baby... yet, so this will have to suffice. I have adored it since the very first time my ears beheld it."

JFH ornament Artists I Want To See A Christmas Project From: -
As Cities Burn (So that Christmas could be convicting) and Copeland (So that Christmas could be that much more beautiful)

garland
justin mabee
1Kevin Max, Holy Night -
"After establishing himself apart from dc talk, Kevin shows his unique skill as a singer and makes a Christmas album that is accessable on all levels. Definitely a Christmas staple for me."
2Relient K, Let It Snow, Baby... Let It Reindeer -
"While this release might be mixing 'old Relient K' with new 'Relient K' a bit too much, there's enough humor and heart pumped into these tracks that make for some truly memorable modern Christmas recordings."
3MercyMe, The Christmas Sessions -
"MercyMe has become a force to be reckoned with in Christian contemporary music, and this Christmas album showcased some of their real talent as artists, and as Christians."
4Alvin and the Chipmunks , Christmas With The Chipmunks -
"Who can forget ĎChristmas Donít Be Lateí being played every year? Definitely one I listen to on vinyl every year."
5Disney Christmas (old vinyl LP) -
"One Iíve listened to every since I was a little kid, and it brings back memories constantly. Disney characters singing with the greats - itís wonderful."

JFH ornament Artists I Want To See A Christmas Project From: -
Anberlin, Switchfoot, David Crowder Band, Family Force 5, Jeremy Camp, and Project 86

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laura sproull
1various artists, Happy Christmas Volume 1 -
"This is a wonderful collaboration of Christmas classics sung as well as written by your favorite alt/rock artists. With different styles and mixes, this record is sure to win over both younger and older audiences."
2various artists, Happy Christmas Volume 4 -
"With a fourth installment in place, the Happy Christmas collection just keeps on rolling. From the intimate mood of Mae's version of "The Carol Of The Bells" and the Relient K ballad "I Celebrate The Day" to Hawk Nelson's punk rock rendition of "Last Christmas," the musically diverse acts bring to the table another round of Christmas favorites."
3Avalon, Joy: A Christmas Collection -
"CCM group Avalon released their Christmas debut back in 2000 and every year it never seems old or overplayed. Combining well known Christmas tunes with original works of their own, Avalon is sure to bring you joy this holiday season."
4Alvin and the Chipmunks, Christmas With The Chipmunks -
"24 Christmas originals from your favorite furry chipmunks, including their very own "Christmas Don't Be Late."

JFH ornament Artists I Want To See A Christmas Project From: -
Falling Up, The Send, Skillet, A Dream Too Late, Lost Ocean, Kutless, MuteMath, Five Iron Frenzy, Underoath, and Switchfoot

garland
lindsay wiseman
1various artists, Happy Christmas Volume 4 -
"This features all of my favorite artists doing wonderful covers (and sometimes originals) of Christmas songs that I will hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life. They are able to pull off putting a rockin' edge to the traditional Christmas tunes."
2Kenny G., Miracles -
"Sometimes, instrumentals are the best kinds of music out there. Kenny G. is a brilliant musician and his Christmas albums are stunningly beautiful. They totally fit the feel of the season and instantly get you into the spirit of Christmas."
3Bing Crosby, White Christmas -
"I've been listening to this CD since I believed in Santa Claus. It is an essential."

garland
wayne myatt
1Jars Of Clay, Christmas Songs / Kevin Max, Holy Night (Tie) -
"Christmas Songs reminds the listener of JOC's debut album, yet its style is very classical and contemporary at the same time. It's simply a beautiful experience from the opening musical to the last single. And I've always been a big fan of Kevin Max because he appears to be an artist that truly does what he feels that he should do with his music. The music on Holy Night is mostly traditional, however, the treasure found on this release is Kevin's incredible vocals."
2Rebecca St. James, Christmas / Happy Christmas Volume 4 (Tie) -
"A very unique sound that can only be with a Rebecca Christmas Project. Any fan of Rebecca St. James will instantly fall in love with her album as the sound is not much different than her previous projects. There's also just so much to like about Tooth & Nail's Happy Christmas 4: Anberlin, Mae, Relient K, Switchfoot, and Aaron Gillespie, just to name a few."
3various artists, Our Christmas -
"This album will always be a favorite of mine because there is so much different talent and it's all, mostly, a fantastic project."
4John Williams, Home Alone 2 Soundtrack -
"Christmas is just not the same without hearing the Home Alone 2 soundtrack. John Williams has brought so many themes that we cannot forget (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Superman, just to name a few). Also has one of the best Christmas Songs of all time, "Star of Bethlehem."
5Alan Silvestri and various, Polar Express Soundtrack -
"I know it's a recent soundtrack, however, it has many classic along with some great original classical music by Alan himself. In addition to the soundtrack, we have classics by Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, and Kate Smith."

JFH ornament Artists I Want To See A Christmas Project From: -
Anberlin, Sanctus Real, Newsboys, Mae, Tait, dc Talk (reunion!), and The Classic Crime

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jess gregorius
1Steven Curtis Chapman, The Music Of Christmas / Relient K, Let It Snow, Baby... Let It Reindeer (Tie) -
"With a mixture of old time favorites and freshly written songs, SCC captures the true meaning of Christmas in his first Christmas album debut. And when it comes to Relient K's first full-length project, there's no way it could disappoint! The guys deliver old favorites with a fresh spin that give you an extra reason to enjoy the holiday season, while throwing in a few tunes they've penned themselves. What else does a Christmas album need?!"
2Jars of Clay, Christmas Songs -
"Dan Haseltine's voice puts an emotional spin on a few traditional songs while taking the listener on a wintery journey through the heart of Christmas with the progression of the album. A record that's sure to be a favorite for decades to come!"
3MercyMe, The Christmas Sessions -
"This record tugs on the heartstrings of Christmas. Though the majority of the numbers are covers, MercyMe really rocks those traditional hymns without restraint. A Christmas album should flow, one that makes you sing along!"
4Bing Crosby, White Christmas -
"This is a Christmastime favorite because it's an album that can be heard throughout the holidays in department stores as well as in the cozy warmth of your household. Christmas just isn't Christmas without it!"
5Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Christmas Eve and Other Stories -
"I can't remember a Christmas without listening to this record in my dad's truck. It's one of those albums that reminds you of the bustle of Christmas shopping and the excitement of Christmas in general. A true gem that few, if any, albums can beat!"

JFH ornament Artists I Want To See A Christmas Project From: -
Switchfoot, Skillet, The Fray, Lifehouse, Mat Kearney, and Shawn Mcdonald

garland
patrick anderson
1Jars Of Clay, Christmas Songs -
"Jars of Clay masterfully finished Christmas Songs and have made this Christmas season special by providing an indescribable record that will be played more than any other this season."
2Rebecca St. James, Christmas -
"With some upbeat and uplifting Christmas tunes, Rebecca put together a fine selection here, even in singing her own cover of John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)." To me, the song "A Cradle in Prayer" just closes out the experience nicely with its worshipful and peaceful ambience."
3Third Day, Christmas Offerings -
"As one of the most successful Christian rock bands today, Third Day has come a long way in time to produce their compilation of Christmas tunes. For about 15 years in the market with live records and worship albums, it's about time they released a full-length Christmas LP!"
4Percy Faith, Christmas Melodies -
"Composer Percy Faith has surely created one, if not the most exquisite and relaxing Christmas record. It's truly been a holiday classic for many families over the years."
5Kenny G., Faith: A Holiday Album -
"Always being a fan of jazz, I've listened to this record numerous times. To me, relaxing instrumental music sets the mood for remembering how great the holidays make us feel and can remind us of what treasures and blessings we have been given."

 

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Music Out This Week

This Friday, April 27
Bright Ones Bright Ones [Bethel Music]
Randall Goodgame Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs Volume 3 (independent)
Sanctus Real Changed [Provident]
Sarah Reeves Easy Never Needed You [Word]
Chris Sligh A Modern Liturgy (independent)

NEXT Friday, May 4
Lincoln Brewster God of the Impossible [Integrity]
Mat Kearney CRAZYTALK
Passion Whole Heart (Live) (Vinyl) [SixSteps]
Michael W. Smith Lullaby [Rocketown/The Fuel]
Various Artists Top 15 Praise Songs - The Well [Maranatha! Music]


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