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Your King Has Come
Artist: Various Artists
Label: detunedradio records
Length: 10/39:34

Well, Labor Day has come and gone.  Here in Indiana, that means getting out your sweatshirts, the closing of public swimming pools, schizophrenic weather, and high school football.  In the music business, that means it’s time to begin promoting this year’s Christmas albums.

Your King Has Come is the earliest entry. Comprised of traditional songs with new arrangements, and three new tracks, the album is a pleasing mix of old and new, with some unknown artists (Mandy Ihrig, Matthew Smith, Jeremy Casela) making their voices ones to watch for in the future.

Derek Webb (Caedmon’s Call) and Sandra McCracken begin the album with “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus,” followed by Mandy Ihrig’s rendition of “O Come All Ye Faithful.”  Ihrig’s vocals evoke those of Christine Dente, and Amy Grant at times. Billy Cerveny chimes in with “What Child is This?,” which features Andrew Osenga (The Normals) on guitar.  Osenga himself performs “Of
the Father’s Love Begotten” on a later track.

Jill Phillips is featured on “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” and Katy Bowser performs “Still the Night (Silent Night),” a reworking of the traditional hymn with some new lyrics.  Executive producer Matthew Smith contributes two tracks, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” and the title track, “Your King Has Come.”  The latter is the story of Simeon, who met God in the temple courts.   The song details God’s fulfillment of prophecy through His Son, wrapped around the chorus: “Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel has come to thee, O Israel.”

Matthew Perryman Jones sings “O Holy Night” to close out the CD, but the highlight here is “Joyful Fire,” a new song written and sung by Jeremy Casela.  It illustrates the appearance of the angel to the shepherds in the fields:

  I saw an angel who said to put my fear aside
  You’ve been waiting for a savior, well
  He’s born in the city tonight
  You’ve been walking in darkness 
  But you have seen a great light.
In all, this is not your usual, overdone, overblown, overproduced Christmas album.  The emphasis here is on the message, with quiet vocals, and instruments that don’t overpower them.   Personally, I usually stay away from Christmas albums, but this is one I believe I’ll keep.

Brian A. Smith 9/26/2001


 
 
 

 

   
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