The Projekt label is no stranger to traditional and non-traditional holidays songs. Not only is the label rich in holiday releases, they provide them in album series of unique interpretations. In fact, so enamored am I of the Excelsis series, that I can’t imagine several holiday classics without first hearing them (in my head) as they are heard on the Excelsis series.
Without hesitation, I can say that Siddal’s version of “In The Bleak Midwinter” is the best one version of that song I’ve heard. I’m also quite pleased with Area’s grand interpretation of “O Come Emmanuel”, and “Carol of The Bells” as reimagined by This Ascension.
In the new collected set by Projekt Records, there are two separate CDs. The first holds twelve traditional tracks with some excellent interpretations that include “The Little Drummer Boy”, a different kind of carol as sung by new cabaret voice, Nicki Jaine with Ego Likeness, who contributes a fascinating “What Child Is This?”.
Ashkelon Sain with The Dorian Fields supply a new take on the entrenched classic “The Christmas Song” with wonderful results. I’m intrigued by the version of “In The Bleak Midwinter”, found here as recorded by All My Faith Lost. (While good, I still go back to the previously mentioned version by Siddal.)
The second disc begins the non-traditional set with music from Black Tape for a Blue Girl (a beautifully poignant “Forbidden Colours”, from Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence), several perfect Paula Cassidy tunes (“Snow Queen”, “Angels We Have Heard”. She also does a memorable “Frosty The Snowman” on the Traditionals disc.)
The engaging Lovespirals performs a stunningly beautiful “Happy Holidays”. Ambient artist, Erik WØllo provides two tracks to close the second disc, “Crystal Bells 1”, and “Crystal Bells 2”.
With 23 tracks, this latest in the Projekt Records holidays series is an absolute must have, as are the three Excelsis series sets. The literal wealth of music found in these sets are part interesting variations, and part essential gems that are hauntingly memorable. With all this great holidays music, you might not have to dip into any of your other classics that you love so well.
Ornamental is highly satisfying.
Release Date: October 16, 2012