It's remarkable how holiday traditions and creative artistry over the years have yielded so many different musical expressions for the Christmas season, and 2006 is no exception. There's acoustic pop from Third Day, R&B gospel from Mary Mary, varied pop from NewSong, Irish hymns from Moya Brennan, alternative folk from Sufjan Stevens, a cappella from Go Fish, soulful eclecticism from Israel & New Breed … and that's only half of the 14 projects represented in this year's Christmas Music Wrap-Up. Check out the diversity with which we can celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Todd Agnew & Friends | Moya Brennan | Go Fish
Hillsong Australia | Israel & New Breed | Mary Mary
Kevin Max | NewSong | Sufjan Stevens | Third Day | Matthew Ward
The Christmas to Remember | The Nativity Story: Sacred Songs
Son of the Most High: Songs from the Voice, Volume 2
Do You See What I See? (Ardent/INO)
Adult contemporary pop/rock
Anyone familiar with Todd Agnew's gruff, blues-rock style probably wouldn't figure him to craft a musical. But with a project not too dissimilar from Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God, this is a sort of Christmas pageant devotional, exploring Jesus' birth from the personal perspectives of the various characters, revealing them as ordinary people who extraordinarily encounter God. With guest vocalists that include Christy Nockels (Watermark), Michael O'Brien, and Mike Weaver (Big Daddy Weave), Agnew explores not only the loving sacrifice of Joseph and the grateful surrender of Mary, but also the stress of the innkeeper, the excitement of the angels, the insight of Simeon, and even the omniscience of the infant Jesus. Book-ended with covers of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and Glad's "In the First ...1
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