Top positive review
So much more than just another Christmas album
on December 20, 2011
This morning I went through my seasonal hunt for new Christmas music, going through Amazon previews of several albums and following links to new recommendations. Usually around a week before Christmas I binge on downloads. This year...it is amazing how even different styles ended up sounding like - just more of the same. I gave up and searched through my music library for something to listen to.
Wintersong. I had purchased Wintersong in my previous year's download binge and maybe listened to it once, probably while I was doing something else. I queued it up now, and over a couple tracks made a discovery - this is NOT just another Christmas album!
I am new to Sarah McLachlan - she had not entered my musical universe before now - so I came to this with no preconceptions. Here is what really struck me about Wintersong:
Her voice - obviously well trained - is absolutely gorgeous! The production and arrangement allow her to come through like an angel.
The feeling she brings is deep and thoughtful - she makes me rethink even very traditional songs, and pay attention to the new songs/covers. Christmas clearly means something to her. It makes this a very emotionally involving album.
The music - a nice mix of traditional, new, and modern favorites, arranged to bring the songs to the fore, and relaxed so you don't feel like its going helter-skelter through the required playlist.
The production. I am an ENEMY of the compression/loudness movement which reduces every track to sonic wallpaper (emphasis on the paper). I hate it when a really good artist is let down by a recording engineer with no restraint (e.g. Eli Reed's first two albums). I love the clarity of the recording (of course the arrangements make that easy). Wintersong sounds GREAT. And frankly, makes me hanker for a really high-rez download (like a 24-bit/96kHz FLAC)....
This is going to be in heavy rotation at my place for the next couple weeks, and may be the perfect centerpiece for the Christmas Eve playlist.