5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderful Christmas Offering,
This review is from: Christmas Offerings (Audio CD)
Third Day has released a great Christmas project. As with the first two "Offerings" CD's, this one mixes both live tracks and studio recordings. The live tracks feature very little talking, but the audience is obviously present. They hold up well to repeated listening.
Third Day has taken nine familiar Christmas carols and arranged them to fit their Southern Rock style. If this scares you, don't let it. Each song is still instantly recognizable, and I had no problem singing along on the first listen. While it sounds slightly different, it felt like Christmas to me. Of course, part of making it a Third Day song is lead singer Mac Powell's trademark deep voice.
"What Child is this?" is easily one of my favorite Christmas carols and their version is great. It starts with just acoustic guitar, but builds until the final chorus. By that point, the full band is playing and it has become a driving rock ballad. I also like the fact that they use a little known verse for their second verse.
They do a similar arrangement with "Do You Here What I Hear?" It flat out rocks by the final verse. I absolutely love it, as does the live audience.
While they speed up "O Holy Night" slightly (it works well as a rock ballad), they keep "Silent Night" slow. In fact, they have a nice violin intro on that song.
Since I have quite a Christmas music library, I always pay special attention to the new songs. Here, there are four of them. Three of them are great. "Born in Bethlehem" is a mid-tempo praise song to the Baby Jesus, while "Jesus, Light of the World" has a similar theme. "Christmas Like a Child" speaks of the longing to recapture the joy of Christmas. Not the longing for presents, but remembering that the season is ultimately about Jesus.
Which brings us to the final song. "Merry Christmas" is yet another in a long line of potentially depressing Christmas songs. Band member Brad Avery's real life wait to adopt a girl from China inspires it. While the final verse does have a happy resolution, I find the first two verses very sad. I will be skipping this track most of the time.
Still, this one track is not enough to ruin the CD overall. By putting their own sound on classic carols, Third Day has created a Christmas Offering I will look forward to listening to year after year.