Monday, February 25, 2013

Music Review: The Living Room Sessions - Christmas by Chris Rice

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Beautiful background music
Cons: Very simple
The Bottom Line:
Simple arrangements
But they're beautiful to hear
Great at a party

Simple but Beautiful Arrangements of Christmas Classics

I'm not usually a fan of instrumental albums, but I have enjoyed both of the releases in Chris Rice's Living Room Sessions mini-series released in 2001.

This CD features Chris playing his own arrangements of 12 classic Christmas carols. His piano solos are truly a pleasure to listen to. Also included is an arrangement of his soon to be classic "Welcome to Our World." If you aren't familiar with this song, check out his first release ("Deep Enough to Dream"), Michael W. Smith's "Christmastime," or Amy Grant's "A Christmas to Remember" for the words. It's an incredible reminder of Jesus' sacrifice to come and die for us and belongs in this collection of Spiritual Christmas music.

The arrangements are simple as is the recording. The songs were recorded in Chris's living room (no surprise based on the title), but still sound good. There's just one piano, so don't expect the grandeur of other instrumental recording. Chris went with simple arrangements that piano player could do. These won't wow you, but they sound beautiful.

If you get this expecting George Winston, you'll be disappointed, but if simple works for you, you'll like it. Living Room Sessions - Christmas is the perfect background music for an office or Christmas party or to play anytime during the season. It's not something you would want to sit down and listen to, but as background music it works well. I will continue to mix it into my Christmas music for years to come.

CD Length: 37:03
1. Joy to the World
2. Angels We Have Heard on High
3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
4. O Holy Night
5. Silent Night
6. What Child is This?
7. The First Noel
8. O Little Town of Bethlehem
9. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
10. O Come All Ye Faithful
11. Welcome to Our World
12. Away in a Manger
13. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

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