This is something rather different from the typical run-of-the-mill Christmas carols album, and not at all what I was expecting when I first heard it played by someone else who'd bought it first.
The carol arrangements are new, distinctively `acoustic', and a pleasure to listen to. The instrumentation is crisp, tuneful and bright, and a perfect complement to the superb vocals, which are performed with freshness and lightness, depth and warmth.
The only `oldie' in it (and the only Christmas song sung in the more conventional Christmas light music style) is Aled's duet with Terry Wogan, first released last Christmas in support of Children in Need--and somehow, in the setting of the other pieces, this comes across much better than it did when it came out last year.
If you like Aled's non-chorister albums of recent years, this one ranks (in my opinion) as one of his best two, although it is actually quite unlike any of his previous recordings. This one is so good I've bought additional copies for family and friends!
This album is imaginatively original, superbly performed and a joy to listen to.