Monday, November 22, 2010

Musical Monday: Review & Giveaway Bethlehem Skyline Vol. 2

In keeping with the "Christmas is closing in fast" theme (not to mention with the "I love Christmas music so stinking much" theme), today I'm reviewing Bethlehem Skyline, Volume 2 from Centricity Music.

This is a huge contrast to the very acoustic/rough cut I featured last week. This is a much more produced, finished product. Bethlehem Skyline is a compilation album, featuring eight artists: Downhere, Jason Gray, Andrew Peterson, Me in Motion, Lanae' Hale, Sixteen Cities, High Valley, and Matt Papa. Despite being a fairly eclectic group of musicians, the overall sound of the album is very balanced. I was a bit concerned that it might have a disjointed feel to it, but the flow is really quite nice.

The album has a great blend of new songs mixed with traditional Christmas carols. For the most part, I liked the updated carols, though I admit, there are a few that I'm just a purist about (I don't know if I've ever heard a contemporary version of "O Holy Night" that I've liked). That said, I enjoyed Lanae' Hale's version of "Carol of the Bells" & Matt Papa's "Little Drummer Boy." And Downhere's version of "Silent Night" is one of the most beautiful that I've heard in a while.

My favorite new song was definitely "Love Has a Name" by Jason Gray. Absolutely fantastic lyric, and a beautiful melody. There were other good songs, but that one stood out to me. I will certainly be looking into more of Jason Gray's music in the future.

Here is the full list of songs:
1. Give It Away, Me In Motion
2. Rockin Around The Christmas Tree, Me In Motion
3. Christmas In Our Hearts, Downhere
4. Silent Night, Downhere
5. Do You Hear What I Hear, Jason Gray
6. Love Has A Name, Jason Gray
7. Away In A Manger, High Valley
8. Carol Of The Bells, Lanae Hale
9. Starving Artist Christmas, Lanae Hale
10. Morning Star, Sixteen Cities
11. O Holy Night, Sixteen Cities
12. Long, Long Ago, Andrew Peterson
13. Little Drummer Boy, Matt Papa
14. Hope Has Come, Matt Papa

If you're looking for a new pop-inspired Christmas album to play this holiday season, I would recommend checking this out. You can listen to excerpts and purchase the album here.

++++++++++

Giveaway:
Centricity has graciously offered a copy of this album to one lucky reader! This is open to the US only.

Mandatory Entry:

  • What is your favorite Christmas song?
Bonus Entries (leave a separate comment for each):
  • Follow my blog publicly on Google Friend Connect.
  • Follow my blog on Networked blogs.
  • Follow me on Twitter.
  • Like Big Mama's Blog on Facebook.
  • Tweet this contest using the following: Win a copy of Bethlehem Skyline from @BigMama247! http://bit.ly/cOUySA #win #giveaway(2x per day at least an hour apart)
  • Blog about this contest. Leave a link in your comment.
Please make sure that I have a way to contact you (if you leave an email in your Disqus comment, I'll have it even though it's not visible to everyone). If I can't contact you, I'll make a different selection. This contest will be open until noon EDT, December 6. I will choose a winner using the Random.org random number generator. I will send an email to the winner who will have 48 hours to respond. If I don't hear from you by then, I'll select another comment. 

Thanks and good luck!

Disclosure: I did receive a copy of this music to review, however I was not compensated for my review and my thoughts are 100% my own. You can read my full disclosure here.
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
 
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