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JFH Music Review

Ronnie Martin, 'Holiday Fable'

Ronnie Martin
Holiday Fable

Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Electronic / Christmas
Album length: 8 tracks: 28 minutes, 5 seconds
Street Date: November 30, 2023


Now that Ronnie Martin is back to making music, it seems he's also back to the pace he kept with Joy Electric releases. Last year, he gave us a studio album and a Christmas album, and now, with a new studio album scheduled for 2024, he's already back at it with yet another Christmas album. It's called Holiday Fable and it's a terrific follow-up to Bells Merrily.

Just like its predecessor, Holiday Fable is a collection of eight original tunes penned by Martin himself. It's also classic Martin, stylistically. Though it may be safe to say that Martin's music under his own name is somewhat different from Joy Electric, longtime fans will feel right at home. It also gives a sense of familiarity and nostalgia that perfectly complements the songs, which focus on the warmth and joy of the Christmas season. And of course, as Martin is a longtime believer in Jesus, he also takes opportunities to mention the Savior, even if it is with more vague lyricism this time around. But he does make mention of the light of Christ in "All Christmastime Sings," singing, "For good hope our voices ringing / Spirit descend on our misgivings / peace on earth the world receiving / darkness will begin receding / all Christmastime sings."

Songs like "All Christmastime Sings" and "Yuletide Cheer" are whimsical and too fun to not play on repeat. And of course, there's "The Alpine Lodge," which has a super catchy melody that is sure to get stuck in your head. Meanwhile, "Holly on the Bough" almost makes me feel young again, hearing Martin sing, "Come sled with me / on the mountain slopes, glide with ease / racing through the branches and trees / pave the way for love, make a way for hope / on this Christmas holiday, every heart is full of this wonder / holly on the bough." The album closes with two of my favorite tracks of the bunch, "First Snow of the Season" and "Winterberry Red, Winterberry White," the latter of which slows the pace down a little, but without sacrificing the merriment as the album draws to a close ("Hear the sleigh bells ring their ancient chimes / sing the carols, hear the joyful sighs ").

Admittedly, I wasn't a big fan of Bells Merrily, so I went into Holiday Fable with a bit of trepidation. Thankfully, it didn't take long at all before I found myself in its wonderfully-infectious groove. As mentioned earlier, longtime fans of Martin's work (who also like holiday music) are sure to be pleased with this one. But I'd also recommend it for anyone who is looking for Christmas tunes that are a little different than the norm.

- Review date: 12/19/23, written by Scott Fryberger of

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. Record Label: Velvet Blue Music
. Album length: 8 tracks: 28 minutes, 5 seconds
. Street Date: November 30, 2023
. Buy It: Bandcamp
. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. Holiday Fable (3:32)
  2. The Alpine Lodge (2:38)
  3. All Christmastime Sings (4:37)
  4. Noble Fir (2:39)
  5. Holly on the Bough (3:16)
  6. Yuletide Cheer (2:59)
  7. First Snow of the Season (3:55)
  8. Winterberry Red, Winterberry White (4:26)



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