Christmas. Another year, another festive season, another bevy of holiday releases to accompany it. Contributing to this collection, the Annie Moses Band attempt to stand out from the crowd with This Glorious Christmas, composed with a repertoire of classical instruments. Indeed, this arrangement makes for a very soothing and relaxed sound, something you would most likely to play as background music. The band itself is made up entirely of members from the Wolaver family, with the parents being involved as much as the children, six of whom are members of the band.
From the beginning, it is apparent that this album differs from most - not only with its easy listening, instrumental overtones, but - by the fact that half of the tracks are instrumental. It is puzzling, especially as lead vocalist Annie Wolaver has a beautiful voice, choosing even to use it sparingly on the songs she does sing. However, the Wolavers' skill on their instruments makes listening to even the instrumental pieces a pleasant experience. Indeed, some of my own personal favorites on the album are the aforementioned instrumental tracks, such as "Sussex Carol" and "Go Tell It On The Mountain." Frankly, none of the songs are really any better than the rest as all are executed with skill and care.
Perhaps my only complaint is that nearly all of these songs are Christmas classics and, as such, have been heard before many a time. As well as that, Annie Moses Band doesn't really bring anything new to the musical table, merely taking what is already available and reformatting it to their own particular style. While a pleasant and relaxing take on the Christmas songs we know oh so well, I can't help wondering whether it wouldn't have been wiser for the band to have deferred a holiday release until later in their career. If at the very least, to have included a few more lesser-known carols and traditional festive folk songs instead of those already familiar to many ears, would have improved the album considerably. Alas, it is not so, but with what they have, they do it well. Lack of originality aside, This Glorious Christmas displays more than promise from the young band… it displays talent, and displays it proudly. It will be interesting to see where this talent will lead them further on in their musical career.- Review date: 10/6/08, written by Adam Dawson
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