Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Music City Unsigned Family Christmas Volume 2 (Album Review)

If the same old Christmas music has you feeling like you don’t want to hear another thing from Bing or has you saying no mo’ to Como, then the fine folks at Music City Unsigned have got the holiday album for you! Following the success of last year’s Family Christmas release (which technically makes this a “tradition” now right?), Music City Unsigned has released Family Christmas Volume 2 to help you soundtrack your yuletide festivities. With 10 diverse tracks of Christmas covers and holiday-flavored originals, there’s a lot to love about Family Christmas Volume 2. Each song on the album has a unique tone and spirit to it, and the album also achieves an overall continuity that makes it great for just throwing it on and letting it spin. No matter if it’s a holiday party or your morning commute, Family Christmas Volume 2 will put you and yours into the Christmas spirit in no time! There are enough musical stylings and lyrical themes to pick from to please even the most pickiest of music fans on your shopping list as well. Looking for a nostalgic longing for home, a peaceful hymn or a bluesy carol? Check, check, check and much, much more.

Family Christmas Volume 2 opens with “Winter Dress” from Justin Wade Tam’s outfit Humming House. This bouncy, bluegrass-flavored tune overflows with guitars, ukelele and beautiful harmonies. It’s a really fun song and an interesting take on the personification of Winter. For more eggnog-swilling, upbeat numbers, Family Christmas Volume 2 also features “Away In A Manger” from Carolina Story, “I’m Coming Home” from Robert Kelly and a Sufjan-inspired “Once In Royal David’s City” from The Vespers. If you’re looking for a little cozier vibe to snuggle up with, check out the slow burn blues of “Ain’t No Christmas Blues” from Jeffrey James or the gorgeous piano-cello duet of “Home” from Marie Hines. However, if mistletoe is the last thing on your mind right now, Emily DeLoach’s fantastic “If I Can’t Have You” is one of the best holiday “missing you” songs this side of “Blue Christmas.” This wistful, acoustic folk song is backed with some sparse piano and some of the saddest sounding “fa la la’s” you’ll ever hear. On an album of great songs, this one and Robert Kelly’s “I’m Coming Home” are definitely the standouts for me. Also sprinkled throughout the album are a super calming “Silent Night” from The CO, a surprisingly emotional “Jingle Bells” from Andrew Ripp and album closer “O Holy Night” from Jessica Breanne & The Electric Hearts. This organ-fueled, vintage R&B throwback features Jessica doing her best Janis Joplin and The Electric Hearts channeling Booker T. and The M.G.’s to stunning results. With a $10 price for the physical CD (only $5.99 digital), not only are you getting more than your money’s worth for Family Christmas Volume 2, but you’re also helping to support the awesome work that Music City Unsigned does for independent artists and musicians. It’s a great album, for a great price, representing a great collective and it’s definitely worth your time and money to pick it up.

You can order physical or digital copies of Family Christmas Volume 2 or a combo pack that includes Family Christmas Volume One directly from Music City Unsigned HERE.

"If I Can't Have You" - Emily DeLoach

"I'm Coming Home" - Robert Kelly

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