In my quest for off the beaten path Christmas music, in my first year of collecting I thought what better place to look than the Christian bookstores! If any place is going to have great, interesting Christmas music, it would be the CCM scene! Well...it seems more of that is plagued by the problem of artists just putting out place holders and coming up with insipid cover versions of familiar standards. I have been able to come away with a few solidly good songs from that, but they are far and few between.
Among the finest of the finest is Michael Card. My problem with most of the music I found is that it just seemed like it was rejected from more mainstream record labels so they just put it out on a "Christian" label to make money off of it some how. But with Michael Card, it was clear I was listening to something that wasn't just a seasonal place holder, but a year long mainstay that rivaled some of the finest song writers I could find in any other genre of music.
Michael has always been known for his intelligent, very literate songs. He's able to take the most obscure topics and churn out the most intriguing songs. With his album The Final Word he took some of the concepts of the long celebrated Bethlehem morning that were not often covered in Christmas music and managed to make an album full of great songs. These songs and more Christmas themed tracks can also be found on The Promise: A Celebration of Christ's Birth . This is one to buy, not just sample on some blog, so I encourage anybody to buy this CD not only if you're looking for interesting Christmas music, but if you're looking for good and interesting music in general.
I will share a couple of my favorite tracks. "Joseph's Song" is unique in that it is a Christmas song from the POV of Jesus' father. It's not a take you often get to hear. And "The Promise" is just one strong track of many on the entire CD.
Michael Card-Joseph's Song
Michael Card-The Promise
Updated to include today's SPUD 102 segment. Enjoy, and thanks again for reading and listening.
SPUD 102 12/17/2007