Album Review :
Shane & Shane - Glory in the Highest

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Artist: Shane & Shane
Album: Glory in the Highest: A Christmas Record
Label: Inpop Records
Release Date: October 14, 2008
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. O Holy Night
2. O Come O Come Emmanuel
3. Away in a Manger
4. It’s Beginning to Look like Christmas
5. Born to Die
6. Silent Night
7. White Christmas
8. Holiday
9. Glory in the Highest
10. O Come Let Us Adore Him

While our site has never been especially big on CCM singer/songwriters, there’s a special leniency that comes every December where people who love all styles of music come together to celebrate winter and/or the birth of Jesus. And as we come together to celebrate, we do so with some of the exact same songs. We may play them differently, but even this is less extreme during Christmas time, as indie kids and pop lovers alike relax with some good old crooners like Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, and of course, Frank Sinatra. So if we can come together for the classics of the season, we can also enjoy together the latest offering from Shane & Shane, an acoustic duo that’s been playing songs together since the late ninties.

Glory in the Highest starts out with a jazzy rendition of my favorite carol, “O Holy Night.” It seems that a lot of old hymns have lyrics that are theologically richer and deeper than modern day worship songs, and the traditional Christmas songs on this record are no exception. Shane & Shane arrange them in a way that is organic yet polished, fitting equally well in both coffee shops and my parents’ car. They also tackle two secular carols, “White Christmas” and “It’s Beginning to Look like Christmas,” which add a fun side to the record and give that extra bounce at a Christmas party. On an interesting side note, the fast vocals on the verses of “It’s Beginning…” sound an awful lot like Panic! At the Disco (or Fall Out Boy, since that would be the same thing). The three original, newly written songs on the record lose some of the charming jazzy/folksy style felt throughout the rest of the record, instead playing a much more straightforward singer/songwriter type sound, but they all work together for a total record that has both variety and flow.

In the distinct absence of punk Christmas compilations this year, perhaps those of us still eager for new tunes to celebrate the holiday will find some satisfaction in Glory in the Highest. If you’ve enjoyed Jars of Clay’s Christmas stuff, you’ll definitely dig this. Or if you’re a diehard for punk related music and nothing else, you can check out that iPhone exclusive that I hear Weezer did. But if you’re sellout enough to have an iPhone, I think you can get over the punk front long enough to enjoy some quality Christmas music from the guys in Shane & Shane.

7/10

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