1. JamesTheMormon – Joy To The World (feat. The National Parks)
2. LaFrantz – Hark The Herald Angels Sing
3. Belle Jewel – O Come O Come Emmanuel
4. Peach Dream – Up On The Housetop
5. Officer Jenny – O, How Wondrous The Love
6. Emily Brown – Solstice
7. Haley Hendrickson – It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
8. Quiet House – The Cherry Tree Carol
9. Yahosh, Lydia Afualo, and Mizz Hix (of The Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir) – Christmas Wish
10. Junior Maile – Away In A Manger (feat. Pati)
11. O/B/A – Is It Really Christmas?
12. Chance Lewis – Twelve Days of Christmas (feat. Officer Jenny, Quiet House, Karl Strange, Book On Tape Worm, New Shack, Coral Bones, Joshua James, Mindy Gledhill, Jamesthemormon, Brandon Taft Robbins, and Ryan Innes)
Yes, we get a new volume of "Merry Christmas Provo" this year. Sing hallelujah! Over the past couple of years, I've really come to enjoy these. I've always been a fan of local artist comps, as you know. But Provo has a certain formula and they've got it down. Their compilations have a very traditional feel, while still possessing a contemporary sound and enough variety to keep me happy. I find the "Merry Christmas Provo" collections to be perfect listening for almost any seasonal occasion (except for those times when you want to drive the neighbors crazy with Hardcore and Metal...and there are those times). Mostly, they're very good at the end of a long day of fighting traffic and shopping mall crowds. They're a lot like a spa for a tired mind.
Volume 3 features some true delights. There's a very uplifting version of "Joy To The World", with a Hip-Hop call to be our better selves and love one another, from James The Mormon. LaFrantz put an Electro Pop spin on "Hark The Herald Angels Sing". Junior Maile gently massages your temples with a too gorgeous for words "Away In A Manger". And Belle Jewel provides a fetching "O Come O Come Emmanuel". We get some modern Soul from O/B/A on "Is It Really Christmas?". And my two favorites are the Soulful as Stevie Wonder with Gospel Choir "Christmas Wish" and (and, I'll be honest, it surprised me that I liked this one so much) the Chamber Pop Officer Jenny's "O, How Wonderous The Joy". Speaking of Officer Jenny, he's got a little EP he's been building on Bandcamp--"A Virgin Did Come" (worth checking out).
"Merry Christmas Provo" is always reasonably priced ($10 plus shipping) with all of the proceeds (100%) going to United Way programs that help children, the elderly, and the disabled during the holiday season. What's more, while they still have a few copies of each available, you can add Volumes 1 and/or 2 to your order at half price (just $5 each). And your CD purchase comes with an instant download, so you can begin enjoying it immediately. You can learn more on the website of Provo's Mayor (more videos there, too) and head over here to purchase.