CHRISTMAS ‘SILENT NIGHT/3 SHIPS’ (RUDOLF MUSIC/USA IMPORT)
What better way then to play a Christmas record on Christmas day! Well, coincidence or not, but 1 day before X-Mas I received 2 Christmas albums, so I put them on of course during Christmas and here’s the review. Normally I am totally not interested in any Christmas record, not even when it concerns Rock or Metal versions of classic Christmas tunes, because usually they sound so cheap, but in the case of the band CHRISTMAS, we are listening to something serious and very interesting. This band features drummer/keyboardplayer/vocalist CHARLES TAPP, who did some excellent AOR/Pomprock in the past with the band EYE and TIMMY (anyone remember?). 2 CDs filled with Christmas related material, both traditionals and originals, but the interesting part comes in the fact that this is actually a Progressive Rock kinda album, which is of course quite rare for a Christmas record. TRANSSIBERIAN ORCHESTRA could be a comparison, although the CHRISTMAS CDs sound a bit more laid-back and modest to be honest. However that is the beauty of these 2 discs as they leave a lot of room open for some nice instrumental progrock elements that feature Christmas ish melodies. Nice job done here and definitely worth putting on during Christmas. More info at: www.rudolfmusic.com
(Points: 8.0 out of 10) Strutterzine - The Netherlands
Christmas 'Silent Night' Review
Jingle Bear Boogie rocks! Which surprised me, in a way, because I was expecting more of a Boogie Woogie Bugle Bear thing. But that's how it is when we attempt to experience artists we haven't heard before by just looking at the cover and reading the track list. The product completely rocks. It rocks in a way that reminds us a little bit of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, at least in its mood. Well, there's been a dearth of cool rocking Christmas records in the past couple of years, so this meets a market need, a need for over-wrought vocals and expansive riffing. And expansive riffing and over-wrought vocals is what Charles Tapp delivers here. Early on, my favorite was Every Day's A Holiday, not only because it has some of the best riffing, and not only because it is a brand new Christmas tune, and not only because of its lyrics, which seem to capture something positive and true about the holiday season. It also has some nice pop hooks, and those I am truly a sucker for.
In fact, this is a rock trio, consisting of Charles Tapp (vocals, keys, drums), Alec Fuhrman (lead guitar) and Steve Evans (bass). Though they keep it pretty much on a rock footing, On their O Come All Ye Faithful/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen medley, they unleash the saxophones of peace (sax by Kevin Ledbetter), taking us (at least spiritually) in a smoother, somewhat jazzier direction. (Not that I'm complaining about all the rock!). But even here, the saxophone pacifies, but it doesn't break up the mood.
Half of the CD are new Christmas anthems composed by Charles Tapp, a couple of them quite catchy. After Every Day's A Holiday , my favorite is probably Christmas Plateau, the moodiest song on the disc, except possibly for Silent Night where the guitars changed from expansive riffing to an almost new age with a hint of flamenco flavor, which, I guess, is a close to doing "silent" as rockers are likely to do.