Timbre – Silent Night

By Joshua Hedlund on December-2-2011 | Filed under Reviews | Share

Timbre – Silent Night
Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/54
4.0 (7 votes)

Artist: Timbre
TitleSilent Night
Label: None
Release Date: 11/25/2011
Reviewer: Joshua Hedlund

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  1. Angelus
  2. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
  3. Carol of the Bells
  4. The Robin Red Breast
  5. Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent
  6. Silent Night
  7. O Little Town of Bethlehem
  8. Silent Night (3 Year Old Timbre)
  9. Joy to the World
  10. What Child is This?
  11. Silent Night (Friends & Family)
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Timbre the harpist has recorded a Christmas album with her family and friends, and thanks to the help of her Kickstarter supporters she is releasing it to everyone for free whether they can afford it or not. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping and let this album soothe your spirit.

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The folky accordions and clarinets that adorned last year’s Little Flowers are nowhere to be found here as Timbre returns to her classical roots. Silent Night kicks off with Gabriel’s annunciation of Christ’s birth in “Angelus,” based on a Latin inscription that lines the walls of the Nashville cathedral where the album was recorded. We get a glimpse of Timbre’s soaring vocals and soothing harp that have been enchanting fans since Winter Comes to Wake You, and her vocal range is as impressive as ever. “The Robin Red Breast” is another nod to her classic sound, as this original adaptation of an old Christmas legend feels a lot like something from the Winter album.

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But Timbre is not actually the main star of this album. The primary instruments here are the piano and the cello, and it is Timbre’s siblings – appropriately named Tenor, Treble, and Tetra – who steal the show as they flesh out Timbre’s beautiful arrangements with their classical and cinematic performances.

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Think you’ve heard enough arrangements of “O Little Town of Bethlehem”? Wait until you here this solo cello calmly trace a hint of the melody, followed by the lilting piano and finally the soft voices, all carried by subtle shifting between the traditional 4/4 and the movement of 6/8. You can almost see the snow falling in a Christmas special – except this recording is simply too good for any cheesy Christmas special.

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“Carol of the Bells” and “What Child Is This” are similar treats, as the cello and piano lay moving cinematic foundations for the harp to dance on. “Joy to the World” gets the most unconventional arrangement with its original melody, mathy time signatures, and bouncing percussion. It may be a little too much for the traditionalist, but I think most listeners will love hearing the siblings “sing joy.” And if the four siblings just aren’t enough for you, they are joined by the other members of the 30-voice Trevecca Madrigalian Choir for the solemn “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” the peaceful “Silent Night,” and a couple other places as well. I won’t spoil all the surprises for you, although the track listing gives away a charming snippet pulled from the Cierpke family cassette tape vault,

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Overall: Timbre’s unique talent and creativity shine through again. If you need to get pumped and excited about Christmas, there’s always Trans-Siberian Orchestra or tobyMac’s new poppy Christmas In Diverse City. But when you need to relax and feel the quiet joy of a Silent Night, well, Timbre is here. And best of all, it won’t cost you a thing – although I encourage you to return the generous gift with a few dollars of your own. Have a Merry Christmas!

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Timbre - Silent Night, 4.0 out of 5 based on 7 ratings

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About the author Joshua Hedlund

I like listening to music and trying to promote the stuff I like (@joshuahedlund), and sometimes I play piano and try to write stuff (I just picked up the accordion!). I married my lovely bride Emily in October 2010. We want to be a RYFO house one day but for now just support bands through going to shows and doing interviews and whatever else we can! View all posts by Joshua Hedlund

10 Responses to 'Timbre – Silent Night'

  1. Thanks for the great review man. I wrote about “Winter Comes to Wake You,” when it came out a few years ago, and there’s definitely something intriguing about her music. Downloading now and looking forward to seeing how she’s progressed with time.

    • Cool. I found your Winter review and added a link to it in my mention of the album above. You should also check out Little Flowers if you haven’t; it was album of the year last year. It had more folky instrumentation and arrangements than the more classical Winter (no foreign lyrics, either), and I think some people who loved the melancholy of the first album didn’t like it as much, but it was my personal favorite and also has what I think are some of the best lyrics Timbre has written. No one reviewed it here and by the time I joined IVM in 2010 I had already reviewed it for AbsolutePunk (which you can read here)

  2. Tim says:

    This album is unbelievable. Really enjoying it.

  3. Otto G says:

    One of the best albums so far !!

  4. Eko says:

    gah why havent I listened to this yet

  5. thruchristalone777 says:

    The more I listen to this, the more I enjoy it. I am really glad that I decided to download this one.

  6. One of the best releases so far this year, and probably the best Christmas album, as a whole, I’ve ever heard. :)

  7. Eko says:

    her version of Joy to the World is Christmas song of the year probably.

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