Should having a limited number of artists signed to a relatively small record label be considered an excuse for creating a Christmas album without new material? It seems that this is the case with 'Tis The Season To Be Gotee, a compilation of singles and selections from digital releases, with only one new recording. While some may find it convenient to have Christmas favorites that were not previously released in retail available in a physical copy, it overall leads to an unspectacular addition to this season's Christmas releases.
In the only new song on the album, "I Celebrate The Day," Stephanie Smith gives a slightly more positive, yet still mellow, performance of Relient K's introspective original. Her other contribution, "Jingle Bell Rock," was released as a single last year, and is a high-energy, enjoyable track. Abandon Kansas's version of "O Come, All Ye Faithful," has a solid indie rock vibe, but again, it was already released as a single in 2009.
The songs featured by House Of Heroes are the three tracks from their short, but sweet, 2009 Christmas EP. "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is a fun Mariah Carey cover, "Silent Night" is a sweet, soft interpretation, and "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" features slightly haunting vocals and more of a rock edge. While the record as a whole lacks a solid assortment of artists, it is nice to hear that diversity exists between all of the House Of Heroes songs.
Two songs are included from Ayiesha Wood's impressive digitally released Christmas album, "Jingle Bells" and "Marry Christmas Baby," both of which are very fun additions. Relient K's three contributions are the three bonus songs featured on the 2008 iTunes re-release of Let It Snow Baby…Let It Reindeer. "Silver Bells" features fantastic harmonies, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" has a distinct Relient K vibe, while "O Holy Night" is a serene track to finish off the half-hearted album.
Perhaps a Christmas treat from current Gotee artists B.Reith or John Reuben would have added to 'Tis The Season To Be Gotee's credibility, or a new song from the featured artists. As a compilation, it is a commendable album. None of the songs can be considered below average, but the idea of creating a Christmas album with only one new recording is fairly disappointing.- Review date: 10/26/10, written by Samantha Schaumberg of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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