Those familiar with Sarah Reeves' pop sound will find a surprise when they listen to her new Christmas EP, More the Merrier. Leaning into a nostalgic, old-fashioned Christmas, Reeves tosses off her pop roots to embrace jazz. Given her airy vocals, though, this EP feels more smoky or (dare I say) sultry than the smoother sounds of, say, Sinatra. What's also surprising here (given how most Christmas projects go), is that Reeves mixes in well-known classics with new originals...
Artist Sara Groves needs no introduction to most Christian music listeners of the past twenty years. Since her label debut, Conversations, in 2001, she has routinely rewarded the patient listener with her deft ability to turn a phrase supported by understated musical flourishes of the piano variety. These albums are full of top-notch songs, and her newest only adds to that legacy. Her most recent album, What Makes It Through, is another consistently great album. The focus this time around is primarily on the horizontal human relationships, and with it, Groves continues to shine as one of the best in the genre...
The distinction between an album and an EP seems to have blurred slightly over the years. Initially, the distinction came from a hardware limitation of vinyl records that limited EPs to 25 minutes, but with the current predominance of streaming services, one finds lengthy EPs and shorter full-length albums, with the difference sometimes falling to construction rather than length. Despite the more widespread ambiguity, War of Ages' latest release is definitely an EP -- four songs totaling just over 16 minutes, with more focus given to the individual tracks than their interaction. While a brief project, Rhema finds the band at their finest and most polished...
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