Christmas music and Advent

We have very diverse music style preferences around here. Both Hubby and I enjoy listening to music and most of what we enjoy overlaps and we can find a great deal that we will both enjoy. When it comes to the radio and seasonal music, though, we have a harder time. Thus, we listen to audio books mostly in the car.

We both really like Advent music. That’s the small class of Christmas music that actually celebrates or speaks of the coming Messiah, not just winter, snow and jingle bells. Add to this that Hubby is not so fond of the popular rock/praise band style of music and we are very limited.

I can appreciate that each artist now is trying to support themselves and sell CDs, which means they need a whole CD worth of music at at time. Which means some ‘winter solstice’ music gets added in. (Yes, I think that is a more accurate description of much of what is passed as Christmas music these days.) And it often means they change up what is already a good musical score into something more “modern”, which is rarely a good thing when it comes to solid, time-tested hymns.

There are two not-that-bad Christian music radio stations in our area. One is ‘Christian pop rock’ and the other is more diverse in what they play, but it is still primarily that popular Christian music style. Nice for a while, but after a bit it gets old and tedious, even for me and I will often choose that style of music to listen to. Poor Hubby, on the other hand….

We turned to Pandora last week for some Christmas music. We enjoyed a bit of Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, but I’m sure if someone looked at what we ‘up-thumbed’ and ‘down thumbed’, they would be confused. One any one album, we liked O Come, O Come Emmanuel and disliked White Christmas. The tags on the songs on Pandora are woefully inadequate, but that might also be due to the fact that the tags are on the album, not an individual song. And when I tried to search for ‘advent’, it came up with ‘adventure club’. Yeah, woefully inadequate Pandora.

I think we are doomed to buying CDs that contains music we like, grabbing those songs off it, and combining the songs from several albums to come up with a decent playlist. Why not buy individual songs? DMR. Yeah, I want to buy a copy of the song, not merely the right to listen to it. We are old-school like that. (And this bit of opining might just reveal a lack of understanding on my part, but I’ve had bad experiences in the past from songs downloaded, such that when the laptop was dying its last death I couldn’t copy the songs off the hard drive.)

If you have an suggestions, oh reader, of good albums of Advent music, please share. And if the album is tainted with a few winter solstice songs, that is okay. We can just skip those songs. But if you know of an album with just Advent music, please do tell me!

How do you handle the playing of Christmas music? Do you care? Or do you hate? Opine away!

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4 comments

  1. rachael, this is SO interesting, but for me mainly because i’m a christmas music freak, but now that you say it, of the winter solstice order! i never thought about it. i mean, i have a VAST collection, from nat king cole to twisted sister. however i love me some o come all ye faithful and what child is this as well.

    how do you two feel about jazz? if you pandora eddie higgins trio or vince guaraldi (both on “holiday”) you’ll get a lot of tunes, sans words, and a lot are standards.

    also… i *think* itunes has done away with that silly authorize to play deal, and i’m thinking amazon doesn’t have that. but i know what you mean, we like a hardcopy too.

    • I hadn’t thought to go looking for jazz, but we do like jazz quite a bit.

      I think I’ve been burned enough with the “I can’t get the file off the drive” bit that I’m not willing to even try, but I do have two songs I got for free off amazon, so I should test them…. glad to hear I’m not the only one set on hardcopies!


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