VARIOUS : Majesty in A Manger. (Integrity : B01LWJIGY8)
I always get excited when a new Christmas album arrives on the scene that is packed with brand new songs. This one, I’m pleased to say, does not disappoint. Beginning with Dustin Smith’s infectious take on the song “Joy,” this album has some tracks that are destined to become yuletide classics of the future. Greg Sykes sings the title track well, but Darlene Zschech’s vocals on “Gloria” is pure joy. With a piano and strings backing, it’s a lovely ballad. Similarly, Christine DiMarco performs “Will Ever Be” with such gentleness and power, on a song that pays homage to the birth of Christ in a manger. Then comes the stand out track. Seth & Nirva’s “Fill the Silent Night” really moved me. It’s a terrific song and the pounding drums on the chorus are spot on. After listening to it, I just had to play it again. Michael Farran provides a big ballad on “Let My Soul Sing”, while Michael Neale’s “Forever Amen” swings along majestically. I wasn’t so keen on the rather lethargic sounding “King of All the Earth”. To me, Paul Baloche’s delivery didn’t seem too enthusiastic as what the song title might suggest. Finally, Lincoln Brewster plays a guitar instrumental to the hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” If you’re tired of hearing the same old Christmas songs, this one guarantees some fine, new tracks. 8/10.