Reviewed by Paul A. Rose
Bethlehem Skyline Volume 2
"...definitely has some noteworthy tracks that fans of Christmas music will find a great option to grab at the 50% after Christmas-sales."
Probably the best way to describe Bethlehem Skyline 2, the follow-up to the 2007 hit Christmas compilation that first introduced us to Downhere's "How Many Kings," is to use the words of returning artist Lanaé Hill in her original track, "Starving Artist Christmas":
"My brain is kinda tense at the thought of writing this Christmas song, cause it's all been done a million times over, over and over..."
I'd like to say that Bethlehem Skyline 2 is a worthy successor to the original album, but just like many of these cases (Happy Christmas, Transsiberian Orchestra, Mannheim Steamroller), the follow-up falls far short of the original. While there are a few highlights: Jason Grey's "Love Has a Name," Downhere's "Christmas in our Hearts," and Me In Motion's "Give It Away." Unfortunately, none of these measure up to "How Many Kings" by any stretch.
I admire Centricity's effort to stand out from the usual morass of Christmas album offerings by having their artists create more original music for this project - especially after the success of "How Many Kings," which Downhere parlayed into a full Christmas album last year. And while Hill's "Starving Artist Christmas" will not go down in Christmas history, it is humorous and cute, reminiscent of Downhere's concert staple "Rock Stars Need Money."
I am also impressed with the re-workings the artists did with the more traditional Christmas songs, most notably, Sixteen Cities' "O Holy Night" and Downhere's "Silent Night." But as a whole, the mixture of artists and varying qualities of performance, Bethlehem Skyline, Vol. 2 wouldn't stand out on its own and with today's world of single song sales, this is one example of an album that could potentially lessen the impact of future efforts in the series, should Centricity attempt them.
While I can't wholeheartedly recommend spending the money for this album
before the Christmas season, it definitely has some noteworthy tracks that
fans of Christmas music will find a great option to grab at the 50% after
A. Rose, Jr. is a writer-producer working in Southwest Florida. He
served as the Senior Television Editor for Infuze Magazine (limited archives
available at http://infuzeremembered.1330productions.com/) and has also written
articles for RelevantMagazine.com. He is currently co-writing a teen zombie romance
film, Undead Heartache, that he hopes to begin shooting soon. You can follow
the film’s progress at UndeadHeartache.com.