At this time of year, I often feel like Marco at the end of Dr. Seuss's And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street: "There was so much to tell, I JUST COULDN'T BEGIN!" Sometime around the beginning of December, a floodgate opens and I find myself downloading multiple Christmas albums and songs every single day; this goes on right up until Christmas Day. I have so much excellent music to tell you about, but finding time to write about it proves to be difficult. So even though updates haven't been coming as frequently as I would like them to be, there's a lot of good stuff in the pipeline, and I will get to it when I can.
Corbin Watkins' Incarnation was actually released last year, but I only discovered it this year after Tara from In Mansions (who is a friend of Watkins') told me about it in an email. The album comes in two parts (like a record), both of which can be downloaded from Watkins' website. My favourite songs on this album are some of the duets that Watkins does with Sarah Hovde. She sings with him on most of the songs, including a great cover of "Mr. Grinch", and the interplay between their vocals gives songs like "Baby It's Cold Outside", "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", and Watkins' own "Christmas Plans" a delightful, lighthearted, and just plain fun feel.
Other songs take on a more serious tone. "Doxology" and "My Jesus, I Love Thee" (which also feature Hovde on vocals) have a very beautiful, atmospheric feel to them. The final song on the album is a medley of "Do You Hear What I Hear" (called "Do You See?" here) and a minimalist, almost a cappella "Auld Lang Syne"; in between the two songs is a very moving spoken word passage featuring some excerpts from John 1. Overall, I find the balance between the serious songs and the fun songs to be very well done, making this a great album for a variety of moods.
I hope you enjoy this one. I'll try to get a couple of posts up over the weekend, but in the meantime, happy listening!