In his Advent Devotion, Come Let Us Adore Him, Paul David Tripp notes that the songs begun by the angels, who announced Christ’s birth, have continued through the ages since and will continue into eternity. He reflects that carols and Christmas songs are one childhood joy that has endured into adulthood.
With these thoughts ringing in our ears we asked some of the UK Communications Team to share with you some of the music they’ll be listening to this December.
The Christ of Christmas – God’s Servant
A Christian Hip-Hop record that brings something faster and louder to the festivities.
From the words of the opening track it is clear this album is trying to do something slightly different. Not only is hip-hop perhaps not the first thing we think of when we hear the word Christmas but also, the rapper God’s Servant, doesn’t just start at the beginning of the gospels but takes us right back to Genesis. Why? Because in his own words “the story concerning the greatest of all, actually begins with the greatest of falls”.
If you’ve not got into Christian hip-hop before now give this a try, even if it’s just a few of the tracks mixed in with your traditional favourites, you don’t have to listen to any for the rest of the year, although you might find yourself wanting to. And for those of you who are big fans of this genre I’m pretty sure you’re going to enjoy this.
My personal favourite track is We The Three. The chorus and melodic themes of this track will be familiar as this wonderful take on the firm favourite of We Three Kings explores the great significance of the gifts the magi brought from the East.
“God: I pursue him, stars: lead me to him, psalms: I sing them to him, alms: I bring them to him.”
The opening verse has some of the best internal rhyme I’ve heard and I am once again left amazed by the linguistic brilliance God has given those in the Christian rap scene to be able to create mesmerising word play and rhymes that expound deep biblical truth.
“Halleluiah to the sovereign ruler, you’re the God of Judah, you have modelled true love to the Jews, perusin’ the gentiles too…”
As the song builds, the searing guitar work adds further depth and colour to a great track packed full of musical moments, astounding truth and lyrical brilliance.
Joy An Irish Christmas LIVE – The Getty’s
A recording of Keith and Kristyn Getty’s folk-infused Christmas tour 2015.
Perhaps best known to us for their modern hymns sung throughout the year, here the Getty’s showcase their songs about that first Christmas, as well bringing a great Irish twist to some firm Christmas favourites. The album opens with the wonderfully expectant Oh Come Redeemer of The Earth before exploding with energy in God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. This is an album that will get have you singing along and probably even the most conservative among us will struggle to not want to channel our Mike Flatley dance moves. The talent of the band shines on every track and the Irish folk flavour will bring a refreshing feel and glorious energy to your Christmas playlist without a doubt.
The reason I so appreciate the Getty’s contribution to music is their truth packed, singable anthems for today’s Church and with that in mind my stand out track has to be Joy Has Dawned.
It’s simply a song that just urges you to join in, even if you don’t really know the words! It journeys through the wonder of incarnation, it’s announcement by the angels, those early worshippers. Then in the final verse the pronouncement of Matthew 1:21* is unpacked as the climax and reason for the incarnation:
“What a saviour, what a friend!
What a glorious mystery
Once a babe in Bethlehem
Now the Lord of History”
*“ you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins”
Joy Has Dawned – Kings Kaleidoscope
This is a small five track Christmas album that packs a big punch. The first 4 tracks are renditions of classic Christmas carols that we all know, while the 5th track All Glory be to Christ has been adapted from Auld Lang Syne.
Kings Kaleidoscope succeed in creating an album full of recognisable ‘Christmas’ style powerfully mixed with epic and victorious trumpets, drums, electric guitars and more.
It’s a refreshing take on those songs that we all know so well. Each song takes the listener on a journey, whether it’s from sombreness to celebration, or poignancy to praise, giving a listening experience that is anything but flat.
I genuinely love all the songs on this album, but if I had to pick one it would be ‘All Glory be to Christ.’ I love the simplicity of the arrangement coupled with the depth of the lyrics that really focus and reflect on what Christmas is all about. The instruments are a lot more stripped back in this song, with just a few iconic-sounding trumpets playing along. An excellent way to finish off my favourite Christmas album.