Christmas music remains a huge staple in the Christian music industry, with 20 new album releases from a diverse array of popular artists. We have one from the biggest band in Christian pop today, and another from a band making their national debut, plus a surprise reunion from a much-loved duo. There are acclaimed songwriters, pop singers, worship leaders, a country superstar, and even the Queen of Soul herself with her first Christmas album in her 50-year career. You'll even find holiday-focused retrospectives from two classic artists in the Christian music community long associated with Christmas music. You may even be surprised by which albums hold up the best among the 2008 crop of musical offerings, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and the feelings of good cheer associated with the holiday.

The five-member, all-sibling Annie Moses Band has been buzzing around independent music for a few years now, so it's interesting that they should finally make their national debut with a Christmas album (including a DVD with a concert performance and a documentary)—a non-seasonal release will follow in 2009. This is actually an appropriate introduction that suits the unique classical-meets-inspirational-pop sound of the string-based group; think Twila Paris fronting Iona, favoring strings over electric guitars. The band is at its best during the instrumentals, where the Julliard trained musicians shine brightly with a ...

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