Friday, December 18, 2009
What we're listening to: Songs for Christmas by Sufjan Stevens
I really enjoy the arrangements of the songs, especially the ones where Stevens plays the banjo. I feel that the musicians on each song are genuinely celebrating the spirit of Christmas; the performances have a grassroots, down home feel to them. The music is a perfect fit for walking in the snow, putting up decorations, or baking cookies. I keep finding myself replaying the first disc, Noel, with its stripped down sound and arrangements of "O Come O Come Emmanuel" and "Lo! How a Rose E'er Blooming." On these songs especially Stevens' vocals and the song arrangements convey a particular "joyful sadness" that I can't help but be drawn to. In the essay "Christmas Tube Socks," included in the CD booklet, Stevens comments on the "joyful sadness" of Christmas songs, and I think that phrase is a good descriptor for many of the Christmas songs included in this set.
The boxed set also includes a fun booklet with chord charts, song lyrics, and drawings!
Find it in the catalog!