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WOW Christmas Green 
Artist: Various
Label: Word Records 
Time: Disc 1 – 15 tracks/65:43 minutes, Disc 2 – 15 tracks/52:00

What sets WOW Christmas apart from others in the "WOW" series is 15 new recordings. That’s enough new songs to fill one of the two discs. 

It’s the new recordings that stand out. They sound fresher and more interesting than the songs gleaned from previous releases. One of my favorites is "O Little Town of Bethlehem" by Steven Curtis Chapman. This beautiful, acoustic rendition is from his new Christmas recording. It makes me want to hear his new release. 

Chris Tomlin’s acoustic version of "Angels We Have Heard On High" is a pleasant surprise. I had expected a modern worship sound. 

With so many artists, the music styles are diverse. Rebecca St. James gives "Hark the Herald Angels Sings" a modern Euro-pop/rock sound. Third Day does an excellent rock version of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." Surprisingly, BarlowGirl rock the hardest with "O Holy Night." Bethany Dillon combines light jazz with alternative country on "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." It sounds a little like Norah Jones. "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" by Matthew West is a likeable straightforward rendition that could appeal to anyone.

One of the biggest surprises was FFH’s "Do You Hear What I Hear." The stanzas are punctuated by music that sounds like the Grateful Dead. The music is creative and energetic. They have never sounded so good.

Though the new songs stand out, there are some fine older recordings like "Welcome To Our World" by Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant’s "A Christmas To Remember." The Newsong classic "The Christmas Shoes" is also included.

Michael Dalton
October 23, 2005



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