Kicking off the Christmas concept album of all Christmas concept albums (for the first time…ever, we think), Tenth Avenue North introduces Decade The Halls, Vol. 1 (buy) this holiday season. Tenth Avenue North has long been a fan favorite for creating memorable and meaningful hits, but with Decade The Halls, we finally have something that infuses the infectious and often hilarious personality of front man Mike Donehey into a full-length and tangible product. No, it’s not a comedy record (unless you count their cover of “The First Noel,” a Boyz II Men “On Bended Knee” homage song featuring guest Colton Dixon), and despite it being promoted by characters like Kenneth The Christmas Yeti online, this is a legitimate classic covers record in every sense. Something must have clicked with the band between their 60s’esque version of “Deck The Halls” release from a few years ago, to now—covering several Christmas favorites, including the aforementioned classic, in various styles of every decade dating back to the 1920’s (“Good King Wenceslas,” recorded in true-to-period lo-fi timbre). This is usually one of those ideas that either completely works, or falls completely flat, but we think Tenth Avenue North is the only contemporary Christian band in our market today that could have done this—and honestly, we think it’s done quite well. Highlights occur when other special guests arrive, including Zach Williams (on the 50s style “The First Christmas”), Britt Nicole (on the 70s flavored “We Three Kings”), and a nice touch with “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” complete with tinges of Tears For Fears‘ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and Band Aid 1984‘s “Feed The World.” The 90s R&B throwback (with Dixon) and grunge nod on “Mistletoe (The Christmas Sweater Song)” get a bit campy, but that’s intentional. What’s Christmas without giving? With Decade The Halls, Tenth Avenue North gives us the gift of something so completely different, yet so welcoming and familiar all in one package.
> SAMPLE ALBUM at AmazonMP3.com
GIVE! | Check out the 2017 Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide