Glory In The Highest (A Christmas Album)
Shane & Shane have earned a solid following for their amiable, loose-limbed sound and earnest Christian themes. Glory In the Highest finds them tackling an assortment of Christmas carols, standards, and originals with mixed results. The duo’s homespun approach works best when applied with a touch of humor and camaraderie, and their versions of “Away In a Manger” (featuring Jason Hoard’s sparkling mandolin) and “It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas” (graced by Bethany Dillon’s background vocals) have the vigor and charm of a fireside jam session. More thoughtful but just as pleasing is “Born to Die,” a meditation on the meaning of Christ’s life sung with understated drama. Shane & Shane’s jazzier side lights up a feisty rendition of “O Holy Night.” Less memorable are adequate if unspectacular readings of “Silent Night,” “O Come Let Us Adore Him,” “White Christmas” and other familiar selections. But there are enough strong moments on Glory In the Highest to commend it to Christian folk-pop aficionados looking for some holiday cheer.