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JFH Staff Review




Joy to the World: The Ultimate Christmas Collection
(Various Artists)



Album length: 11 tracks
Street Date: October 3, 2006


INO Records has been home to some of Christian music's leading worship and contemporary acts, including MercyMe, Todd Agnew, and Phillips, Craig, and Dean. Now the label has put together its first Christmas album, featuring all those artists that have made them what they are today.

One of the gems on the record falls near the collection's beginning, with MercyMe's rendition of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemenm," but it would have been nice to see them record another song that wasn't featured on their The Christmas Sessions album from last year. "Welcome to Our World" from Phillips, Craig, and Dean is a nice touch to the album, but it seems they could have done a better job with the verse vocals. A particularly stand-out track comes with Mark Harris' version of "Mary Did You Know," rivaling Mark Lowry's original version, and making for a great addition to the project.

The disc also includes originals from Todd Agnew, Darlene Zschech, and even the now-defunct 4Him. This definitely makes for some variety on the disc, but parts of the album seem to be merely thrown together, even on the tracks where it shines. For example, Sonicflood's rendition of "Angels We Have Heard On High" seems rushed and of low quality, while Zschech's "Hallelujah" has clearly been well thought out and produced. This is definitely one for the more contemporary Christmas music fan. For someone looking for quality Christmas songs from their favorite artists, they might want to cross this one off their list.

- Review date: 11/27/06, written by Justin Mabee


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. Record Label: INO Records
. Album length: 11 tracks
. Street Date: October 3, 2006
. Buy It: Amazon.com

  1. Strange Way To Save The World - 4Him
  2. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - MercyMe
  3. The Christmas Song - Chris Rice
  4. Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song) - Sara Groves
  5. Angels We have Heard On High - SONICFLOOd
  6. Messiah - Phil Wickham
  7. Joy To The World - Nicholas Jonas
  8. Hallelujah - Darlene Zschech
  9. Welcome To Our World - Phillips, Craig & Dean
  10. Lo How A Rose E're Blooming - Derek Webb
  11. Mary Did You Know - Mark Harris
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