Christmas

Mannheim Steamroller

Christmas

Mannheim mastermind Chip Davis gave Christmas a new sound—and sometimes an old sound—juggling progressive rock with Renaissance music and orchestral pop. He goes full-tilt prog on "Deck the Halls," where the synths wail and the drums boogie like vintage Yes. "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen" begins olde-English-style with lute and recorders before the drums crash in, while "Silent Night" reaches back to its roots as a Germanic hymn. Davis packs his arrangements more densely with surprises than Santa does his sleigh.

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