[Due to illness, this week’s feature is a day delayed.]
Christmas is upon us – or jul, as it’s called in Norway – so it’s time to get out those festive holiday CDs. One of the better CDs in this category is Her Kommer Dine Arme Små by Elias Akselsen, collecting a dozen classic and obscure (by modern pop culture standards) Christmas songs, most of which are explicitly religious – there are only one or two secular Christmas songs to be found here. None of the songs on this CD have that slick-as-oil sound that many Christmas CDs have today, having a more organic and folky sound, which is refreshing. This week’s featured piece is the title song from this release.
This might not be the best song from the album, and I’ve just started listening to the slightly darker, less immediately catchy songs you can find on it, but this was the first song I heard from the album and it’s what convinced me to purchase it. It was the first time I had heard this song, but it’s apparently an old standard – my mother was quite familiar with it. I actually got exposed to this song due to a mistake made at a TV show where they were reviewing the album; they played a sample from this song, but they were supposed to play a sample from a different song from the same album as the reviewer pointed out after it’d been played, but had they played that other sample I probably wouldn’t have been convinced to buy it.
One critique against the album, and this song in particular, is that the steel guitar, as well as the banjo in other songs, can get a bit cheesy and too country and western, straying too far from what could be described as a traditional Norwegian sound. Fortunately those two instruments only make appearances on a few of the songs. In all, I highly recommend this release to anyone looking for good Christmas music.