No, it’s not a book. We’re promoting music today, but that’s because we know that most of you bibliophiles probably enjoy some sort of music/background atmosphere. And with the Christmas season beginning in just a few weeks (ie. more reading time, right?) and JJ Heller’s new album releasing TODAY, we thought you all might appreciate a review of this fresh and fun holiday compilation. (Note: I helped fund her kick-starter campaign to pay for this album, so I got an advanced copy.) So here are 4 reasons why we believe you should try out Unto Us.
- Old Classics Refreshed – So many Christmas standards are available on here, from “Winter Wonderland” to “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” to “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” Many of these will be wonderfully familiar. But you won’t get bored with these standards, because they’ve been creatively updated, sometimes with new little bridges (as in “O Little Town of Bethlehem”), sometimes with the style (like the light, accoustic/bluegrass feel of “White Christmas”), and sometimes with some sparkling instrumental interludes (like “Winter Wonderland”).
- New Songs Introduced – JJ Heller is brilliant at keeping her originals “her” while still somehow offering variety in her sound. I love her 2nd track “Christmas is Here” – a song that my girls can’t stop dancing around to in their tutus. And “Oh to See Christmas” is just plain, good fun. You also don’t want to miss her title feature “Unto Us,” a beautiful new composition with hints of “O Come All Ye Faithful” threaded throughout the instrumentation.
- Vocal Simplicity – Usually an entire album of one person singing leaves me feeling flat by the end – as in, flat-out TIRED of hearing the same voice over and over again. Not so with JJ. I know her style may not be for everyone, but I’d guess that most people would find her vocals pleasant and easy to listen to. Simple, mild-breathiness mixed with some rich lower tones are the perfect book-reading background sound.
- The Children’s Choir and the String Ensemble – For those of you not familiar with Heller, these are 2 special additions not normally found in her music, which is mostly accoustic & piano blends. The strings fill the album with that “christmasy feel” and the children’s choir – subtly placed – adds the perfect amount of *twinkle* to a few select songs.
We could go on, but we’d rather you use the rest of your free time to go order Unto Us.
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