Christmas songs are timeless. Year after year, you will hear them all over the place: at stores, on TV, and countless Christmas pageants and plays. But my favorite is hearing them redone by different bands, whether they're done traditionally, or done according to that band's signature sound. The latest of these projects comes from Slanted Records' DecembeRadio, with the 3-song Comfort & Joy digital EP.
The Comfort & Joy EP gives us a taste of a traditional carol as well as a DecembeRadio-esque jam. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is first, starting it off in a very peaceful manner, with "tidings of comfort and joy." It makes for the strongest of the three tracks. "Run Run Rudolph" is next - a perfect choice for the southern band. Though they didn't have to change it up much to make it their own, they were still able to have fun with it, and throw in a little DecembeRadio touch (complete with the typical country styled drums and a keyboard/guitar mix driving the majority of the song). The crazy, upbeat song ends and dives right into a somber instrumental rendition of "Away In A Manger." It showcases some great guitar work, but coming after "Run Run Rudolph" makes it seem a little misplaced. Then again, being only three songs, there's not really a lot you can do with the ordering of them. But I think putting "Run Run Rudolph" first with the instrumental last might have been more of an ideal order.
It's nice to have all kinds of different bands getting in on the Christmas action this year. I can only handle so many re-releases (I'm talking to you, Tooth & Nail and Relient K), so having a band that hasn't previously done a Christmas project is a breath of fresh air, even though the only real highlight of the Comfort & Joy EP is "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" (which you can get for free temporarily at this very website). But the full EP is only $2.97 at iTunes, so it wouldn't hurt your checkbook too badly to check it out. And hopefully next time, the guys will offer up a DecembeRadio original Christmas song or two in the process.- Review date: 12/9/08, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Slanted Records
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