By Clay W. Ginn – Rich with orchestral sounds, Travis Cottrell’s Christmas album Ring The Bells majestically introduces the sounds of the season. Combining Christmas standards with three original songs, Cottrell puts together a mix of musical stylings.
Creativity:: 6 – The varying styles of music really add depth to this album. The best example of this is the world music backbone to “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”. However, the songs rely heavy on orchestration seem familiar, like you’ve heard the song performed before in exactly the same way.
Original Songs:: 7 – “Home For Christmas” has the feeling of an old Christmas standard. “Ring The Bells” is a joyful, exuberant piece that sounds like Cottrell is really having fun with it. Finally, “Once More” ends the album with a wistful look at Christmas.
Classic Covers:: 6 – Running the gamut from operatic to jive, Cottrell covers the songs well, but brings nothing new to the Christmas party.
Musical Score:: 8 – Musically, the pieces are tremendously composed. The various arrangements are well done and have a traditionally Christmas sound, with a few exceptions.
Overall Holly Jolliness:: 6 – This would be a great CD to play in the background at your family Christmas get together. Unfortunately, people may not stop and ask who the artist is. It just doesn’t stand out enough.
Total = 32 . Those who are fans of Josh Groban will love this CD. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people. The CD is really well done and Cottrell has a phenomenal voice. It just doesn’t ring my bells.
To read our review guide lines, go here.
You can find Ring the Bells and the rest of our great “12 Days of Christmas Music” reviewed albums in Backseat Writer’s online store, Drive-By Shopping, under the “12 Days of Christmas Music” category!
Clay W. Ginn is a software developer for a small company in North Texas. I’ve been married for nearly 12 years and am the father of three. I’m an avid reader, weather nut, and love playing my guitar and singing. My wife and I are huge fans of Walt Disney World, trying to get there once every couple of years. I grew up on a farm in rural Kansas, and attended seven different colleges before completing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Information Technology and a Master’s degree in Information Systems. In the past I’ve been a youth leader, worship leader, police dispatcher, accounting clerk, customer service representative, and a gumball machine builder. I love writing anything, from movie and music reviews to political screeds to comparisons of culture and faith. I’m even working on a novel as well.