Reviewed by Lori Fox
Christmas A Newsboys Holiday
"...these songs will find their way into my Christmas rotation. I hope they find a way into yours."
Friends and family know that I am a true Christmas geek. The only reason that I have an imitation tree is because a real one wouldn’t last from November 1st through Valentines Day. I’ve been known to play Christmas music in May and August.
When I saw that one of my favorite bands from my music-is-my-life phase was putting out a Christmas album, I went nuts. I hadn’t known that Michael Tait (formerly of D.C. Talk) had replaced Peter Furler as front man, but Tait seems much more suited to Christmas music in my opinion, though I can’t help but wonder what a Peter Furler Christmas album would sound like.
The product description claims that there are six songs on Christmas! Newsboys Holiday, one of which is supposed to be a brand new Christmas song. My copy, however, contains only the five cover songs that most people are already familiar with, and I haven’t yet found any information on the mysterious sixth song, even as a download.
The opening song, All I Want For Christmas Is You, has a proper rock-pop twist on it, and is infinitely more danceable than the Mariah Carey version. This is possibly my favorite song on the album even though I never cared much for it until I got to hear Tait’s version.
Jingle Bell Rock also has a lot of energy and is a great cover, and Winter Wonderland has a slightly edgier, more driving sound than what is usual. Part of the background music actually reminds me, just slightly, of Take Me To Your Leader, though I can’t quite place why.
While O Holy Night inspires mixed feelings for me, it really is beautiful to hear it sung by someone who knows and understands what the words mean. The fact that it’s a slower song is its only failing, and that is only because they chose to put it in the middle of the album, disrupting the party flow. Had they placed it at the end, I would have found it much more enjoyable.
The Christmas Song finishes this short album with a flourish. Literally. I do love Michael Tait’s singing, but all the extra little flourishes are disconcerting and mildly annoying. I’m a traditionalist at heart, and while I don’t mind a complete makeover of a song, trying to put a little twist on a classic tends to be a little grating to me. This version originally appeared on Lose This Life, so if you already own Tait’s earlier album you already have his version of The Christmas Song.
Will you like this album? I’d say that for the $4.99 price tag, you can’t go wrong trying it out. Each song is also available separately for download. With the exception of O Holy Night, I can see The Newsboy’s new Christmas album becoming an essential part of youth group Christmas parties, and many of the songs making it into more adult holiday parties as well. Several of the songs are outright danceable, and the energy will perk you right up. There is a slight hesitation between each song (I counted 5 beats in between), but these songs will find their way into my Christmas rotation. I hope they find a way into yours.
Lori Fox is a freelance writer who is working on her first novel as well as writing reviews for TitleTrakk.com. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, making jewelry, and taking as many trips to Walt Disney World as possible with her wonderful husband Kyle. Visit her online at her website.