Saturday, December 19, 2009

Downhere "How Many Kings: Songs For Christmas" Review

Downhere is riding on the success of their famous Christmas track with the release of “How Many Kings: Songs for Christmas”. This track is destined to become a classic Christmas song and special to any Christmas caroler. It is perhaps for this reason that “How Many Kings” is the opening track on this album. From the fun “Good King Wesceslas” to the traditional sound of “Silent Night” all the way to the 5-second choir singing “Five Golden Rings”, this album is sure to surpass all of your expectations, and make for a wonderful Christmas album to add to your collection. The talent of Downhere in presenting traditional carols and magnificent remakes plus a couple new tracks astonished me very much.

The second track, and of course a traditional carol, is “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, and is one of the more upbeat rock tracks on the album. It was this song that many of us were able to get as a free download this Christmas season. Downhere also performs a gorgeous version of “Angels From The Realms of Glory”. This is one of many of the songs that brag on behalf of the wonderful vocal abilities of this band. This track also has the stunning piano music that many of Downhere’s tracks include. “Christmas In Our Hearts” is one of the group’s fun songs, sure to get you into the dancing mode. “Even if nobody said ‘Merry Christmas’/ If ever the choirs and bell rings made no sound/ there will be peace on the earth and forgiveness/ ‘cause it’s Christmas in our hearts.” Downhere follows the traditional style of “Silent Night” on their Christmas album. As expected, this album is very peaceful with that dazzling piano sound.

My favorite song on the Christmas album, and definitely the most creative song, is “Good King Wesceslas”. I had never heard the words before (only instrumentals), but this song is excellent! Sounding more like a country song, the guys of Downhere really know how to play a story with their songs. It was amazing to me how well the guitarist/ vocalist could put on the sad voice for King Wesceslas! “Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabel” is another one or my favorites on this album (and I love the lyrics to it, too). I thought Downhere did this track perfectly for one particular reason- on the stunning chorus, is that Jason (piano) sings “Bring A Torch”, while Marc (guitar) overlaps with the rest of the lyrics. In my opinion, this was perfectly done. “Gift Carol” is one of the tracks on this album that I just can’t hear enough of. I loved the picture this song painted of the gift of Christ to us.

And, the album does have another one of those songs sure to bring a smile to your face. “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” features a trombone and perfectly fits Downhere’s style. The album ends with a gorgeous remake of “How Many Kings”, which I actually liked better than the original, to be quite honest. However, I still love the other version as well.

This was an excellent album! I think it was a step up for Downhere, even better than their previous efforts. I would no doubt rate this album a 5 star album, and suggest it to any Christian and Christmas music fan. Excellent work, Downhere!

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