Carolyn Arends | Christmas: An Irrational Season

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Holiday: Folk Spiritual: Contemporary Gospel Moods: Mood: Christmas
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Christmas: An Irrational Season

by Carolyn Arends

A warm, organic, Christmas project featuring 8 Arends originals, 3 freshly rendered classics and a mesmerizing cover of The Band's "Christmas Must Be Tonight".
Genre: Holiday: Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Irrational Season (Prelude)
1:32 $0.99
2. Come and See
4:07 $0.99
3. Do Not Be Afraid
4:18 $0.99
4. Angels We Have Heard on HIgh
4:04 $0.99
5. Christmas Must Be Tonight
4:06 $0.99
6. Is Bethlehem Too Far Away
3:24 $0.99
7. Now In Flesh Appearing
4:02 $0.99
8. My First Christmas
3:57 $0.99
9. Go Tell It on the Mountain
4:18 $0.99
10. The Lord's Servant
3:56 $0.99
11. Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus
3:13 $0.99
12. A Christmas Blessing
3:58 $0.99
13. The Irrational Season (Postlude)
1:39 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Acclaimed songwriter Carolyn Arends (Seize the Day, Reaching New Year’s Day), has delivered the perfect curl-up-by-the-fire Christmas project, featuring 8 originals, 3 classics, and a mesmerizing rendition of The Band’s Christmas Must Be Tonight.

From CCMPlanet:
Christmas: An Irrational Season is definitely an album you need to pick up this year.

Soft percussion, acoustics, a trickling piano and trembling strings sweep under Carolyn's beautiful voice in the opening track 'The Irrational Season (Prelude).' The title of this album and the lyrics in this prelude - 'This is the irrational season / When love blooms bright and wild / For if Mary had been filled with reason / There'd have been no room for the child' - come from a poem and book by Madeleine L'Engle. Closing this short track is an instrumental rendition of the tune popularly known from the song 'What Child Is This?,' setting a tone for this lush yet simple, vibrant yet reverent Christmas album.

For each of the past twelve years (including this year), Carolyn has written a song for her church's Christmas Eve service. This album includes the 7 best of those songs, plus 4 classic Christmas songs. The first of these original songs is 'Come And See.' Leave it to Carolyn to spread smiles all around and put joy in your heart with this refreshing pop song that is intrinsically worshipful, celebratory and so perfectly embodies the good news of the Christmas season: 'Come and see, come and see ... It's the great love of God / In the cry of a babe.' Closing the song appropriately interwoven is the chorus of the hymn 'O Come All Ye Faithful.'

'Do Not Be Afraid' is one of Carolyn's best songs ever - it previously appeared on her 2001 album 'Travelers,' and it is a soft river of rhythm and reassurance that really has a power to touch your heart. Carolyn could have just included her previous recording here, but instead made this brand new recording that sparkles with accomplished percussion and understated, intuitive piano, guitar and mandolin instrumentation. Singing to Mary, the shepherds and to believers today, Carolyn prays 'Do not be afraid / Do not be afraid / Love has found its way to you / Do not be afraid.'

Carolyn's rendition of the classic 'Angels We Have Heard On High' starts out slow with a talented vocal ensemble, but jumps into a spirited folk-pop arrangement that keeps the ensemble and the musicians busy. It's a thoroughly enjoyable track - unfortunately, Carolyn only does two verses, and another minute or two on this four-minute track would have been more than welcome. Next is Robbie Robertson's 'Christmas Must Be Tonight.' It's a straightforward rendition without too much fancy accompaniment, a good track to take a breath on and just enjoy Carolyn's gentle voice.

'Is Bethlehem Too Far Away' is another steady-paced song and a chance to close your eyes and 'If we seek Him we will find Him in / The least expected place / For His Kingdom comes in the power and might / Of His sacrifice and grace.' 'Now In Flesh Appearing' is Carolyn's Christmas song for 2004, with her catchy melodies and signature lyric style sharing stories of sacrificial love that communicate a strong message of Christ's love making a practical difference in the world: 'Well, this is Christmas / A hand upon a shoulder / Christmas / A little peace on earth.'

Highlights from the second half of this disc include more storytelling in 'My First Christmas,' the Gospel-flavoured 'Go Tell It On The Mountain,' the assured 'Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus,' and the closing benediction 'A Christmas Blessing': 'May the Christmas star light your way / Even today, even today / May the angel choir ring in your ear / 'Christ is here, Christ is here.'' 'The Irrational Season (Postlude)' gets the final word, again with the 'What Child Is This?' instrumental (it'll really make you wish Carolyn had recorded that song in full) and then the poem.

This album is in 'digipak' packaging, which is a cardboard case with a plastic part to put the disc in and a flap on the inside cover to hold the lyric booklet. The lyric booklet is printed on glossy paper and includes the words for all the songs, the year Carolyn sang each song, and a lot of great artwork and photos. The design for this album, from the cover to the CD itself, is just as beautiful as the songs that are on it. While the first half of the album seems stronger on first listen, all the songs will grow on you and this disc will easily become a favourite for your holiday listening collection.

This album makes a great Christmas gift! *****



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