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Christmas Extraordinaire

Christmas Extraordinaire

4.0 6
by Mannheim Steamroller

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The Mannheim Steamroller dynasty rolls on with a new album of Christmas favorites for the 2001 season. Having sold over 18 million Christmas albums, they certainly are the experts, but for this release, the Steamroller and captain Chip Davis asked for some outside help. The legendary Johnny Mathis chimes in on "O Tannenbaum," the first vocalist ever to grace a

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Christmas Extraordinaire 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just got a prerelease copy of this CD, and I'm happy to say, Mannheim Steamroller still knows how to make great Christmas music. It's not their best effort (that honor still belongs to ''Fresh Aire Christmas'') but it's right up there. Chip Davis has done some of his most original workings of the carols since his first effort back in 1984. In some places, the originality goes a little too far, making the tune all but unrecognizable. But in most cases, it keeps things interesting and works very well. I'm sure my favorites will change over time, but for now, ''Hallelujah,'' ''Fum Fum Fum'' and ''Away In A Manger'' are the winners. If you own their previous album, ''Impressions,'' the rendition of ''Auld Lang Syne'' will sound familiar here, as only the instrumentation and the addition of a choir is different-- but it's still a great arrangement. Overall, I feel this is superior to there previous effort, ''Christmas in The Aire,'' though not quite up to the level of the first two. On a side note-- the production quality of this album is SUPERB. The clarity and dynamics are among the best of any CD in my collection. So why only four stars? The beginning half of the album may be a little slow for some, and with the exception of ''Hallelujah'' and ''Fum Fum Fum,'' there aren't any of those rock tracks we'd expect from a Steamroller Christmas album. Actually, I'd give it 4.5 if I could. Definitely recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just received a prerelease copy of this CD, and all I can say is WOW. This is Mannheim's fourth Christmas album (not counting the live album and the story album), and they haven't yet lost their touch. If anything, this album could well be the freshest since the original. Track by track, here's the rundown-- ''Hallelujah''-- The classic upbeat opener for the album. Typical Mannheim, nothing particularly new, but fun. May have benefitted from the use of a choir though. ''White Christmas''-- Jazzy chords, and a female choir make this an interesting arrangement, and it builds nicely from its keyboard intro to the fully orchestrated ending. ''Away In A Manger''-- soft, touching. A really simple arrangement of flute and guitar, accompanied by oboe and harpsichord. Works wonderfully. ''Faeries''-- It's Mannheim's take on ''Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairies.'' They don't do much with this one, but it still works well. One of the more synthetic-sounding tracks on the album. ''Do You Hear What I Hear''-- an odd, Copeland-esque arrangement. The traditional melody seems to get lost along the way, but it sounds great anyway. ''The First Noel''-- an attempt to redo ''Stille Nacht'' from the first album. Quite good, though not as good as that older song. ''Silver Bells''-- A fun piece, with the stress on the upbeat, giving it a somewhat reggae feel. ''Fum Fum Fum''-- The renaissance piece of the album. Really cool, and it builds to a lively dance. One of the album's best. ''Some Children See Him''-- A slow, nostalgic piece, played mainly on wind instruments. Nice. ''Winter Wonderland''-- The toe-tapper of the album. Nothing brilliant, but quite listenable. ''O Tannenbaum''-- Johnny Mathis? Yep, he's doing the vocals, along with the Michigan Men's Glee Club. ''Auld Lang Syne''-- If you own the ''Impressions'' album, you've heard this before, except the instrumentation is slightly different, and a choir provides the last verse. This is a great Christmas album for anyone who's enjoyed Mannheim Steamroller's previous albums. It's better than their last one, and almost as good as the first two. Recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have almost all of Chip's CD's but believe this is my favorite. I purchased it for a Christmas gift but could not give it away. It is the most relaxing, soothing of all his music.
Start the fireplace, get a nice drink and enjoy.
bobbyrobert More than 1 year ago
This is an addition to the Fans of Mannheim Steamroller. Enjoyable to listen to or give as a gift.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Do not waste your money here. Invest in a shrink if you are seriously considering purchasing this collection of foppery.