Selah’s Return to Christmas Music is Another to Pull Out Every Year
As part of their twenty-fifth anniversary celebration, Selah decided to release a second Christmas project. It’s certainly been long enough between them, right? And, considering their first Christmas CD was how I found them over a decade ago, I was anxious to get it. I can already predict I will be enjoying At This Table for years to come.
There are three less familiar tracks and seven classic Christmas songs given the Selah treatment here. The first of the new (at least to me) tracks is the title song. “At This Table” is a beautiful song originally sung by Idina Menzel about everyone being welcome. I question exactly why it is a Christmas song, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. Maybe the idea of a bunch of people gathering around a table is why it is here? My more serious issue with it is more a reflection on our culture today than anything else. Jesus calls all to come to Him as they are, that is completely true. But after meeting Him, people do change and give up their sin. I feel like some of the words used in this song are now used to mean accept you as you are and never expect you to change. Unfortunately, that does cloud my enjoyment of this song. Still, with lines like “At this table, mercy has a seat,” it’s hard to really dislike the song on those grounds.
The other two new to me songs are wonderful. “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is a cover of the Rod + Rose song of the same name. I’m a little surprised I haven’t had a song where someone else apply the popular nursery rhyme in a Christmas song before since it fits so perfectly. Again, the melody is beautiful and the lyrics are outstanding. It touches on what Jesus’s birth means to us, and it’s just a fun song.
Finally, there’s “The Night That Love was Born.” The melody is fantastic as Selah sings about Jesus coming to earth. I can’t track down anything on this song, so I can’t tell if it is a cover or not, but it’s new to me, so that’s all that really matters.
That leaves us with seven classic Christmas songs. And, while the melody and lyrics might (mostly) be familiar, the arrangements still feel fresh. It helps that some of them have been given new choruses, like “O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adore Him).” “Joy to the World” gets a fun African vibe. I’m not usually a fan of “Amen” or “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” but their medley of the two is lots of fun. We get a new chorus as they turn “Good Christian Men Rejoice” into “Good Christian Friends Rejoice.” It’s a fun arrangement on a Christmas song people don’t record enough. And yes, there are slower classics as well, like “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” and “The First Noel.”
As I said, you will feel right at home with these seven classics at the same time you are struck anew by them thanks to the fresh arrangements. They will help put you in the Christmas spirit while still being different enough that you will enjoy them when the rest of your collection is feeling a bit too familiar late in December.
If you are looking for some new Christmas music to enjoy
this season, you’ll be glad you checked out At This Table. Even if you aren’t a Selah fan, you’ll find
plenty to enjoy here. And who knows,
this might work the same magic that their original Christmas release did on me
and turn you into a Selah fan for life.