Happy Christmas Vol. 4 offers a wide-ranging collection of new and old Christmas tunes, from the traditional sounds of Copeland's Do You Hear What I Hear and Spoken's Mary Did You Know to the ethereal sound of Eisley's Christmas Time Is Here and the creative work of Mae on Carol of the Bells. Switchfoot contributes the fine Evergreen, and Emery performs their prayerful (Ho Ho Hey) A Way From For Santa's Sleigh (yes, it really is prayerful). The heavier bands are represented by Underoath's Aaron Gillispie and The Starting Line's Kenny Vasoli performing Yule Be Sorry.
The dark side of Christmas--reflecting on the pain of broken relationships during a season of joy--is addressed by Anberlin with Baby Please Come Home and by Hawk Nelson with their cover of George Michael's This Christmas (Hawk Nelson is in the theatres this week, appearing with Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo in Yours, Mine & Ours, where they perform Things We Go Through and their new single, Bring Em Out.)
The strongest messages about the true meaning of Christmas come from John Davis (Superdrag) and Relient K. The former's God is Real (Jesus is Alive) has a unique sound and uncompromising message, while the submission from Matt Thiessen, pop punk's clown prince, is a beautifully contemplative song that shows him at his serious best:
And the first time that you opened your eyes / did you realize that you would be my Saviour? / And when the first breath left your lips / did you know that it would change this world forever? / And I / I celebrate the day that you were born to die / so that I could one day pray for you to save my life
Happy Christmas Vol. 4 has something for everyone, so don't be fooled by the label--the songs are generally mellower than you'd expect from the artists' personal projects.
Visit: Tooth & Nail.