3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2012
More than thirty years ago now I bought an LP (remember those?) by the King’s Singers called “Deck the hall”, which I absolutely loved. Besides the title track it also had, amongst others, “Rise up, shepherd, and follow” and a beautiful arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s “Crown of thorns”. A couple of years later I also bought their “Christmas with the King’s Singers”, which was a lot more fun even than the previous LP, and included such tracks as “God rest you merry gentlemen” (in 5-time: a sort of Christmas-meets-Dave-Brubeck), “The little drummer boy” and “Jingle bells”.
Since going digital and getting rid of my ancient record player, these have been lost to me, and so I was chuffed to bits to find that all the above tracks, together with a further dozen, are available on “Joy to the world”, which was apparently recorded live. The personnel has altered completely in the intervening years, but the sound is still unmistakably that of the King’s Singers, and I am absolutely delighted to have this CD in my collection.
There are a couple of caveats, however. One is that they prefer to sing in the original languages so that, for instance, you have “Stille Nacht” instead of “Silent night”. This is perfectly fine, except that unless you’re a polyglot you won’t be able to sing along, should you wish to do so.
The other caveat is “The twelve days of Christmas”, which was always a cracking track, but now has been expanded to nine minutes with, paradoxically, less singing. Instead we have a reading of each day’s letter from the recipient of the gifts to the sender, becoming increasingly desperate and angry as the days go by and the gifts (geese, swans, the milkmaids’ cows) leave their mark on their surroundings. It’s hilarious the first time, and an obvious smash live, but I wonder if people will really want to hear it every time they play the CD.
Personally, I think this is a brilliant disc. A definite five stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2012
If you are a fan of the Kings Singers this will be right up your street. A mixture of well-known carols and less familiar music, all sung in their inimitable style. New facesover the years, but the sound remains just as polished and just as enjoyable. Buy it for next Christmas.