|LABEL: Rocketown Records|
SPECIAL EFFECT(S): None. That's the absolute beauty of this unique, simplistic holiday recording. Enjoy!
PRODUCER(S): Monroe Jones and Chris Rice
Many of us have mixed feelings about Christmas. We love the traditions and the tinsel and the gifts and the lights and the pageants. But we also struggle not to be consumed by those things in the midst of a very holy observance. How are we supposed to balance the secular and the sacred when the season is seemingly barreling toward us at supersonic speed? Here's a suggestion: hang out with Chris Rice.
Granted, Rice's newest instrumental release, The Living Room Sessions: Christmas won't solve all your holiday quandaries. But this organic collection of 13 familiar Christmas carols will significantly change the mood in many a home or office this season. Much like its predecessor, The Living Room Sessions (which released earlier this year to near-unanimous critical acclaim), Christmas is a "me, myself and I" production from Rice. Nobody helped him pick the songs; no one helped him arrange, play, or record them. Over one weekend in June he sat down alone at his home piano and poured his heart and soul into songs like "Joy to the World", "O Come All Ye Faithful", and "Silent Night." These solo piano tracks are alternately reflective, playful, driving, and pensive. And the result is an extraordinarily simple, yet passionate, expression of the true meaning of Christmas.
Everybody needs a little down time--especially during the holidays. I suspect that for many, this disc will serve as a powerful antidote to the frenetic pace of the season. I highly recommend it.