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Arts: CD Review
Sarah Towle, The Martlet, Volume 57, Issue 16
Thursday, December 2  2004

Holiday Tidings

I know what you're thinking: Christmas CDs are lame. But hear me out. This one's different. Honest.

Nanaimo's singer/songwriter and pianist Allison Crowe provides a raw and off-beat collection of Christmas songs that she makes her own.

The CD begins with an a cappella version of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," which shows off her vocal range and intense vibrato. She pays tribute to many Canadian musicians with songs such as Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" and Joni Mitchell's "River."

As well, Crowe includes other non-traditional, but still seasonal, songs such as the Lennon-McCartney creations "Let it Be" and "In My Life," and the Rolling Stones' "Shine A Light."

And, for good measure, a few traditional songs arranged by Crowe are thrown into the mix: "Silent Night," "What Child Is This," "The First Noel" and "O Holy Night." Crowe's colourful voice, along with her fluid and polished piano playing, makes each track unique. Plus, the simplistic combination of voice, piano and the occasional tambourine proves a refreshing change from cheesy back-up choirs and synthesizers
often heard in Christmas tunes.