album review::Jars of Clay: Christmas Songs

The only legitimate Christmas album I received in the mail this season was Jars of Clay’s Christmas Songs. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I heard a few new Christmas comps that basically amounted to the typical mocking parade that one might associate with “indie.” The mocking would be fine if just wasn’t so damn cliche, and more importantly if the songs actually showed any savvy whatsoever in terms of songwriting. Well, Jars of Clay have released a Christmas album that avoids all that, and offers several standards, a few originals, and a nice straight forward reading of Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime,” which follows the soft acoustic slumberings of opener “The Gift of Cecilia” on Christmas Songs. The originals all resonate with the feeling of the season, but “Hibernation Day,” with its’ tale of enjoying the comforts of being holed upside inside on a snowy day with your love, is my favorite. Really, Christmas Songs feels like days that have passed, when it wasn’t out of the ordinary for artists to do Christmas albums, or at least do a song celebrating the season. No doubt, that was before “Christmas” became a word most try to avoid.

“Love Came Down At Christmas”

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