Release Date: November 16th 2018
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Christmastime Is Here
- O Come All Ye Faithful (feat. Jason Gray)
- Little Town Of Bethlehem
- All I Want For Christmas Is You
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
- Little Drummer Boy
If you’ve probably been visiting my site frequently, then you know that I have reviewed a few Marc Martel albums of late- and if not, then maybe you can stop reading this now and check out my reviews of My Way Vol. 1, Thunderbolt And Lightning, and The First Noel EP– because I won’t rehash intros that you can read elsewhere. And in each of these reviews, I have outlined who Marc is, what he’s all about, how he got his start as a solo career post-Downhere, and also explained a bit about why I reckon he is one of today’s most inspiring artists that probably no one has heard about. Granted, now most of the general public would know Marc as a portion of the singing voice of Freddie Mercury in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, yet what listeners may not know (that is listeners who aren’t fans of Downhere!) is that Marc is a devoted Christian, with his mission being first and foremost to make Jesus’ name famous in whatever sphere of influence he is in. and now that we have been offered up this little tidbit of information, let us briefly delve into Marc’s latest release which drops to retailers today; yet another Christmas EP titled Christmastime Is Here.
Christmas music again, I hear you saying! Didn’t we hear Marc sing songs about Jesus’ birth last year? Yep, it is indeed true. I for one though love Christmas music, and would listen to holiday tunes all year long if I could. Yet in all seriousness, this EP is far from the grandiose big booming epic anthemic Christmas tunes from last year, with the bulk of all of these 6 anthems from this year being more overall…poppy and traditional adult contemporary. Even though I reckon that after you listen to Marc’s music you may think that his voice is too big to be ever associated with pop music or acoustic music; I tend to disagree- as I believe that if Marc does sing pop music, or any genre other than ‘his own genre’, it won’t lessen the impact of his voice, but would rather make the whole genre of pop, or whatever genre he’s singing in, better overall. Am I making sense? I hope so! As for the songs, 3 songs are piano based (“Christmastime Is Here”, “Little Town Of Bethlehem”, “Have A Merry Little Christmas”), and 2 are pure pop (“O Come All Ye Faithful” with Jason Gray, and the Mariah Carey cover “All I Want For Christmas”); while the EP closer is anthemic and more for KING & COUNTRY-like (“Little Drummer Boy”). But in each of them, Marc is definitely having a blast, and definitely giving God the glory. In each of these six melodies, Marc excels even though genre-wise they’re all quite different, and it’s also evident that these songs are enjoyable, even if Marc doesn’t really reinvent the wheel of Christmas music. So instead of me going through these songs and writing for another few more paragraphs (what would be the point of that? To bore you?), I will leave you with these 6 gems and treasures, so that you can dance and tap to the praises of Jesus proclaiming his birth and his sovereignty.
With Marc Martel becoming his own person musically after splitting from Downhere and recording his new solo material, Christmastime Is Here EP is a fitting and well timed reminder of Jesus’ coming to earth and saving us all from ourselves. This Christmas, instead of the hustle and the bustle, let us sit and reflect on what Jesus has done for us- and Marc’s EP is a great first step in getting us on the contemplative mood. Well done Marc, your EP is top notch, and I can’t wait to see what’s next in 2019. Maybe another covers album, or even a new full length all new studio album? Regardless, perhaps I will check out the rest of Marc’s solo discography… don’t you all think that’s a genius idea?
3 songs to listen to: O Come All Ye Faithful, Little Town Of Bethlehem, Little Drummer Boy
RIYL: Queen, David Bowie, The Beatles, dc Talk, Jars Of Clay, ACDC, Needtobreathe, Kevin Max, Rich Mullins