Release Date: November 18th 2014
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Feelin’ Like Christmas
- Go Tell It On the Mountain
- Christmas Card to You
‘…our family loves Christmas; it’s our favorite holiday. Being together to celebrate and remember Jesus—God’s amazing gift to us— is what it’s all about. We sip eggnog and hot cocoa, watch Christmas movies together, and even get our neighborhood involved in the fun. In that spirit, we hope these Christmas songs help people remember the true meaning of the season as they celebrate…’ Having released Bright Side earlier during the year (September), brother trio OBB have released their first Christmas offering, Feelin’ Like Christmas, and despite the EP only carrying 3 tracks, the pop nature of the songs and the enjoyableness the band brings with them each time they deliver an album is nothing more than enjoyable, infectious, heartfelt and exciting. With so much Christmas material from both Christian and mainstream artists alike each year, it is nice to hear an up and coming CCM band that places yet another unique presentation on Christmas songs. Similar vocally to Mike Donehey or Matt Hammitt, Zach Oswald and his brothers have reminded us that it is not just enough to know about Christmas- we need to feel it, and be reminded, maybe even every day, to ‘…go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born…’ (“Go Tell It On the Mountain”).
Standing at only 3 songs long, this EP, albeit short, is still as fulfilling as any Christmas album would be- bring us a sense of wonder, cheer, hope and encouragement as a time of joyous celebration draws near. The first single from the EP, “Christmas Card to You” starts off with a riveting piano riff that brings Zach to deliver some of the most poignant lyrics throughout the whole EP. A song about what we may want to say to someone if we were to deliver a Christmas card to them, the concept of sharing love and hope in a similar way to Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Christmas Card” and Sidewalk Prophets’s “The Words I Would Say”, is one that’ll hopefully encourage us all to think about what we want to share at Christmastime, to loved ones or even to those we don’t know too well (maybe giving a word of knowledge, or God showing us who to pray for as an act of divine intervention).
“Feelin’ Like Christmas”, starting with a synth keyboard and delivered in a similar pop vein as the 3rd track, is one of fun and celebration as we are called to feel Christmas on top of just knowing and hearing about it. A powerful track to listen to and start the day with as we are reminded that Christmas is more than the motions of having great times with family; “Go Tell It On the Mountain” is the last track on the EP, and a unique rendition and a reminder to shout out Jesus’s name from the rooftops that He saves and is Lord of All.
With Feelin’ Like Christmas being a pleasant Christmas surprise of the year so far (even more of a surprise musically and lyrically than albums from Rend Collective and Michael W. Smith); OBB have broken past the sophomore slump and onto their 3rd offering of music. Though it’s a Christmas offering instead of all-new material, the Oswald Brothers are continuing to make their presence felt within the CCM industry. While I probably would’ve expected this EP to be longer than 3 tracks, the EP does serve as a great facilitator into Christmas worship in the upcoming weeks ahead. Fans of Tenth Avenue North, Manic Drive and Group 1 Crew will love OBB and their music. Well done Zach, Nich and Jacob for an inspirational and encouraging EP.
3 songs to listen to: All of them
RIYL: Tenth Avenue North, Manic Drive, Group 1 Crew, Luminate