Christmas music can range from contemporary carols to traditional hymns. Here are some recently released Christmas CDs from groups with Utah ties.
The demand was high for tickets to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 2010 concert featuring David Archuleta. This CD features 12 songs from the concert with the choir, Orchestra at Temple Square and Bells at Temple Square, including five with Archuleta. The bonus track of "Sing Choirs of Angels!" includes narration from Michael York.
For more, see mormontabernaclechoir.org.
"IT'S CHRISTMASTIME," by Eclipse, Shadow Mountain Records, $16.98
The a cappella group Eclipse takes an upbeat and fun spin on 10 Christmas songs, including "Come All Ye Faithful" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in its second Christmas CD. With the six-man group's entertaining style, it's one of that will help get listeners into the Christmas spirit.
For more, see www.eclipsesingers.com.
"COME LET US ADORE HIM," by Lower Lights, Groundloops Records, $8.99 mp3, $16.96, CD
In its bluegrass-inflected style, Lower Lights releases a dozen songs, from the traditional hymns to contemporary carols.
Lower Lights, based in Provo, includes 36 different performers, including Mindy Gledhill, Cherie Call, Ryan Shupe and others who have their own careers or bands. They have been known for their hymn revivals. It's an enjoyable complilation that is a refreshing alternative to pop versions of these songs.
For more, see thelowerlights.com.
"HOME FOR CHRISTMAS," FM 100.3, Deseret Book, $9.98
A dozen musicians and singing groups, including Jon Schmidt, Paul Cardall, Mindy Gledhill, Alex Boye, Voice Male and Cherie Call, lend their voices to this CD that benefits the Road Home social service agency with a variety of Christmas songs with their own personal twist. The songs vary from Cardall's piano arrangement of "Silent Night" to Voice Male's "Jingle Bell Rock."
"CHRISTMAS TAPESTRY," by Blend5, MeWe Productions, $8.99 mp3
Blend5 is a group from Ephraim that specializes in blending music from different styles and eras. This CD reflects that with unique arrangements of Christmas hymns and carols including "Deck the Halls" and "Silent Night" to an instrumental version of "Enchanted Christmas" featuring an electric violin.
For more, visit www.Blend5.com.
"THAT FIRST NIGHT: A Christmas Collection," by Paul "Cactus Jack" LaMarr, Spin FX Publishing, $16.98
These 11 songs include original compositions, instrumentals and other traditional carols in a departure from the usual assortment of songs in this debut CD from Australian Paul "Cactus Jack" LaMarr who came to Utah to record it.
The electronic instrumentals, while adding to the unique flavor, can be a little distracting and his folksy sound does need some polish, but is fairly easy to listen to.