Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Spotlight: Sufjan Stevens, "Hark! Songs for Christmas"

I'm not usually into Christmas albums, least of all because we aliens don't celebrate Christmas. Although the occasional Christmas single by a rock musicison is a fun alternative expression of one's style, recording whole Christmas albums is usually an exercise in speedy cash cow production. But this cannot be said for Sufjan Stevens' new multi-volume Christmas album, which has a genuine originality in style and substance. It is characteristically Sufjan, which of course implies a certain unpredictability. The bottom line: get this album. It will not only make a conversation-starting soundtrack for your next Christmas party, but you will likely be able to listen to it out of season because of the richly textured arragnements of a number of classic hymns. Check out.