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Top New Christmas Albums by Christian Artists for 2009

New Christian Christmas music for 2009

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I don't know if it's because people spend so much on Christmas that they want the season to last longer to get their money's worth or if it's because people just love the feeling of the Christmas season itself and they want to stretch it out, but either way, the trappings of the season seem to arrive earlier each year.

This year, our local stores had Halloween decorations on one side of the aisle and Christmas goodies on the other! While that seemed a bit of a stretch for me, I was pleased to see some great new Christmas albums on those shelves from Christian artists that we all know and love.

1. 'Christmas Is' - Mark Harris

Mark Harris - Christmas Is
INO
The word that comes to mind when Mark Harris' name comes up is wholesome and his Christmas release fits that bill to a T. Christmas Is brings to mind the warmth of the season and you can easily picture him sitting in front of the fireplace singing for friends and family.

"Emmanuel," a Harris original, fits in nicely with the classic Irving Berlin tune, "White Christmas" and the traditional "Silent Night," but the real show stealer here is Mark's solo version of the 4HIM carol, "A Strange Way To Save The World." While the harmonies that we so loved 4HIM for are missing, overall, Harris' solo version has a warmer, fuller sound.

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2. 'Glory In The Highest: Christmas Songs Of Worship' - Chris Tomlin

Chris Tomlin - Glory In The Highest: Christmas Songs Of Worship
sixstepsrecords
There is a gentleness about Chris Tomlin that shines through his music, even as his passion for his Savior makes a stand. That gentleness is found in spades on Glory In The Highest: Christmas Songs Of Worship.

The element of worship that is sadly lacking around Christmastime in many places is found in each and every song on this album. Classics like "O, Holy Night" and "O, Come All Ye Faithful" add a sense of tradition while new tunes like "Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground)" and "Glory In The Highest" bring a sense of awe.

Chris and his friends (Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, and Audrey Assad) make this live recording a real winner.

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3. 'How Many Kings' - Downhere

Downhere - How Many Kings: Songs For Christmas
Centricity Music

Christmas classics you may have forgotten about over the years meet original tunes to create an album that touches your heart as well as your funny bone.

"Good King Wenceslas" is served up with a touch of campy fun and a whole lot of great vocals. The original "Gift Carol," another favorite, is a deeply touching reminder that the best gift we get at Christmas doesn't come in sparkly paper. Finally, "How Many Kings," both the "regular" track and the "re-imagined" track at the end, poses a question that reminds us that Christmas is about much more than decorations, candy canes and gifts.

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4. 'Christ Is Come' - Big Daddy Weave

Big Daddy Weave - Christ Is Come
Fervent
Touching delivery of tradition tunes and amazing original songs make Big Daddy Weave's Christmas project a winner in every category.

"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" has a majestic feel that is not a bit overdone, making it perfect in my book. "Christ is Come" has just the right touch with the strings, not overshadowing the band's sound and "Go Tell It On The Mountain" gets an almost Middle Eastern treatment that gives us a whole new take on a familiar classic.

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5. 'When Love First Cried' - SONICFLOOd

Sonicflood - When Love First Cried
Daywind
After ten years as a popular worship band, SONICFLOOd has finally released a Christmas album. When Love First Cried features classics like "O Holy Night," which is done with a sense of breathless wonder and "O Come Emmanuel," a personal favorite on this album. I can't put my finger on the why of it, but their version touches me deeply without any real technical reason and for me, that is the best kind of music.

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