A track from Musicademy blogger David Clifton’s Christmas album was played on UK Radio 2 Aled Jones show recently and a number of people have been looking for where to hear more. The album is available on iTunes, Amazon and in high street stores in the UK & Canada.
There’s a sample track and review of the album below:
A unique interpretation of carols and songs celebrating the true meaning of Christmas
Christmas albums have the unsavoury reputation of being sentimental, samey and soaked in sad and sickly commercialism. Unfortunately, this tends to be true whether the artists involved are followers of Jesus or not. Well aware of this, a number of Christian musicians in recent years have endeavoured to create projects which not only tell the wondrous story of the Nativity with a sense of spiritual depth and mystery, but also to do so with true musical ingenuity, professionalism and charm.
Latest to appear in this category is Christmas Carols & Songs – a beautiful interweaving of well-received traditional favourites and several lesser-known songs – some dating back to the Middle Ages. Then, as a finale, a brand new composition delightfully performed by string quartet. Writer of that piece is Dave Clifton , who, along with keyboardist Mark Russell, arranged this whole set, artfully integrating the uncluttered medium of Dave’s smooth, clear vocals and acoustic guitars with the full, striking sounds of the Choirs of Peterborough Cathedral and the varied orchestral noises of a group of extremely talented instrumentalists.
So, we delightfully uncover the classical/pop shuffle tones of ‘O come, o come, Emmanuel’, with clarion flugelhorn attendance; the tender caress of ‘Silent night’, recently voted Britain’s most popular carol; a mystical Polish folk carol; an uplifting English ‘wassail’ tune (nice woodwind there), a spine-tingling choral piece written by a penniless poet, and one of the most sensitive renditions of ‘Away in a manger’ that I’ve heard. And all this before even half-way point is reached! Standout in my book is the renowned ‘For unto us’ duet from Handel’s stunning ‘Messiah’ – rich, anthemic, triumphant – a terrific heralding into our restless world of God’s Son, the Prince of Peace.
An essential feature of the album is the thoughtfully-produced booklet which proclaims it. Beautifully constructed, it contains not only some fine art-work along with full lyrics and music credits, but also 14 short narratives outlining the origins and development of each piece; each intelligently enhancing the appreciation of final output.
A rich tapestry, this album pushes aside the rather distasteful side-trappings of what has become a ridiculously materialistic season and instead offers wonderful focus on Christ himself. A gem of a product and one that is set to become an annual delight in many a believer’s household.