Christianity Today offers a review of twenty Christmas CDs that are new this year. Hard to believe that many are being published. Artists include Travis Cottrell, Sara Groves, Fernando Ortega, Shane & Shane, and more. I hope to post any songs I find that may be worth considering.
If you haven’t heard Sovereign Grace’s Christmas CD, Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man, you can preview samples at the Sovereign Grace Music site. We put this CD together a few years ago to add to the songs that glory in the Incarnation of our Savior. You can download the whole CD for 6 bucks at the Sovereign Grace store, purchase it for 8 bucks, or download a free song, “Glory Be to God.”
In a recent staff conversation on contemporary music forms, I may have erroneously quoted you, Bob, as saying much contemporary music is “rhythm-driven.” To your knowledge have you ever used this phrase in teaching or writing on worship? If so, can you point me in the direction of the quote? Thanks for your ministry of encouragement to hundreds of us out here “in the trenches.”
I’m not sure when or where I said that, but I think it’s true. So I’ll say it here: Much contemporary music is rhythm-driven. Not all, but much. That’s what makes it contemporary. Part of modern genres is using percussion, drums, and rhythmic hooks to make the music more memorable and affecting. When it becomes too dominant, people tend not to be as aware of what they’re singing. I say “tend to” because people can sing very rhythmic songs and fully understand what they’re singing. Is that helpful?
I’ve already pulled out my Christmas cds! the Savior cd is one of my favorites! :)
I love this CD. My son and I listened to it the other day. I love it (the Savior cd) because it really isn’t just for Christmas- it’s served us all year! I told Mark I’d try to record my son dancing to Emmanuel- he really likes it. It’s so sweet to watch a two year old dance especially while praying that one day he will truly be dancing before the Lord. If I record it I’ll send it to you too! Hope you and your family are well!!
Our band is working up “Wonderful Counselor” and “Hope Has Come” from the Savior CD as part of our Advent and Christmas song list. Thank you for providing such a wide variety of worship music for the Church.
Thanks for the help on “rhythm-driven” music… and thanks for letting me post a comment that was totally unrelated to the topic at hand. Some of us old guys have a hard time keeping up with blog-protocol : )
The Savior CD is outstanding and we are considering “Christ the Lord is Born Today” as a new Christmas congregational song. The only bummer is that you can only do the song for 4 or 5 weeks.
Just started listening to Travis Cottrell’s Christmas CD – I noticed he does an arrangement of “In the First Light” and that it is credited to none other than Robert John Kauflin. What a great lyric Bob – I’ll always remember Glad’s rendition but Travis does a great job with a very lush arrangement.
If you are looking for Christmas songs you might find this free site from the UK useful:
– from a group very committed to writing Biblical songs. We used “What Kind of Throne” at our carol service last year, and this year they have released an orchestra/choir version and also two new Christmas songs including “On Christmas Day” which I have just listened to and sounds great! Hope you don’t mind me mentioning it – not my songs! Not even from my Church!