The Christmas Sessions
If you want to hear hard-rocking Christmas songs from a good Christian band, then your best bet is still Duvall's Oh Holy Night on Asian Man. But if you want something a bit slicker that still rocks pretty hard, this one is a good choice as well. Quite a few of these arrangements work really very nicely — the emotional hugeness of MercyMe's setting of "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear" is very effective, as is their chugging rendition of "Angels We Have Heard on High" (although rewriting the melody in the chorus wasn't the greatest idea). Singer Bart Millard can be a bit mannered in his delivery, though, and he sounds pretty silly trying to maintain his dignity while singing "pa-rump-a-pum-pum" on "Little Drummer Boy." Then there's the really ill-advised country setting of "Silent Night," for crying out loud. But they pull off the devilishly difficult trick of turning "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" into a U2-esque power ballad, and they do it with class. That's no mean feat. Not bad at all.