Listen to the new album from Tommee Profitt!
Listen to the new album from Tommee Profitt!

JFH Staff Review

Various Artists, X Christmas
X Christmas
(Various Artists)

Album length: 15 tracks: 55 minutes, 39 seconds
Street Date: October 28, 2008

The Christmas season is upon us. What does that mean exactly? Well, you can bring out your hoodies, you can get sweet deals at all kinds of retail stores, and you can start listening to your favorite Christmas songs - or even new Christmas songs. Enter this year's product from Tooth & Nail. In what is essentially Happy Christmas Volume 5, T&N is releasing this Christmas compilation as part of their running - and as of late, stale - X series, simply entitled X Christmas. Why? Not too sure, but whatever it's called, it turns out to be a fairly good collection for the holidays.

I hesitate to say that at first, as the first few songs do not fare so well. Top rockers Thousand Foot Krutch get things started with "Jingle Bell Rock," which does rock, but turns bad when Trevor McNevan tries to kind of rap the verses. The singing is the only problem with the song, which is also kind of the problem with the next track, Hawk Nelson's "Gloria," originally from 2006's Gloria EP. I'm also not so sure if it's not sacrelegious to change the lyrics "Gloria, in excelsius Deo" to "Gloria, the girl I want for Christmas." Aaron Gillespie's side project The Almost serves up a decent rendition of "Little Drummer Boy," followed by Tooth & Nail's third use of "Evergreen" by Switchfoot (it first appeared on Happy Christmas Volume 1, then later on Happy Christmas Volume 4). If they really wanted Switchfoot on the compilation, I'm sure it wouldn't have been that hard to at least have had them record a new one, but it's a good song nonetheless. David Crowder*Band's Latin-flavored "Feliz Navidad" follows, staying true to the original, followed by another recycled song, "Christmas Baby Please Come Home" from Anberlin, originally appearing three years ago on Happy Christmas Volume 4 (this may be a reason for not releasing it with the Happy Christmas name, so they can reuse - and RE-reuse - songs this time around). BEC rockers Kutless remake the Mark Lowry classic "Mary, Did You Know?" with their usual dry approach to rock, while FM Static offers up a cover of their own, Newsong's "Christmas Shoes" (some nice redemption for Mr. McNevan, and an excellent rendition of the song).

Two songs from last Christmas are next, Jars of Clay's hit "Love Came Down At Christmas" and Project 86's "This Time of Year," which doesn't quite sound like your usual Christmas-y kind of song. But it's Project through and through (more closely resembling the sound of Rival Factions than any other album of theirs), so you can expect goodness if you haven't yet heard it. Seventh Day Slumber offer up a dull remake of "Do You Hear What I Hear," while Sanctus Real plays around with "Silent Night," changing it up a little bit from what you usually come to expect from the song. Tech-metal band August Burns Red rips through "Carol of the Bells," and since it's an instrumental (that is, no screaming), it's still safe for the non-metal fan to listen to. Though it may not be safe once KJ-52 starts his song "It's Christmas Time." Those who know KJ's music know what to expect, as it's not that much different than anything else he's ever written, whether it's the structure of the music or the way the lyrics pretty much always go from silly in the first verse or two to serious in the last (with a few exceptions, I admit). If you can make it past KJ (or you can press the skip button), you will come to a very surprising gem from... Capital Lights? Yes, as strange as it may be, Capital Lights just may have captured the title of "album highlight" with "His Favorite Christmas Story," a heartwrenching-turned-heartwarming song about a man who fell in love with a girl he would never get to know. Two more newcomers finish the compilation: Jaymes Reunion (though not entirely new, as singer Cameron Jaymes did debut about five years ago) with the classic "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" and Corey Crowder taking his southern approach to music with another classic, "Angels We Have Heard On High."

Overall, X Christmas is a good album to add to your modern Christmas music collection. Though there are definitely some mishaps along the way, and you may even already have several of the songs on the tracklist, there is enough goodness in X Christmas to justify the purchase of it. Rock versions of Christmas songs (or at least still-soft versions from rock bands) is always something to look forward to heading into the season. If you agree, head on out and pick up a copy. If you still can't justify spending the money on mostly songs you already have and a few good and bad songs, at least hit up iTunes for the new ones, like August Burns Red, Corey Crowder, FM Static and Capital Lights.

- Review date: 10/30/08, written by Scott Fryberger of

Listen to the New EP from Life UNLTD!


. Record Label: BEC Recordings
. Album length: 15 tracks: 55 minutes, 39 seconds
. Street Date: October 28, 2008
. Buy It: iTunes Music Store

  1. Jingle Bell Rock* - Thousand Foot Krutch
  2. Gloria - Hawk Nelson
  3. Little Drummer Boy* - The Almost
  4. Evergreen - Switchfoot
  5. Feliz Navidad - David Crowder Band
  6. Baby Please Come Home - Anberlin
  7. Mary Did You Know* - Kutless
  8. Christmas Shoes* - FM Static
  9. Love Came Down At Christmas - Jars of Clay
  10. This Time Of The Year - Project 86
  11. Do You Hear What I Hear* - Seventh Day Slumber
  12. Silent Night - Sanctus Real
  13. Carol of the Bells* - August Burns Red
  14. It's Christmas Time* - KJ-52
  15. His Favorite Christmas Story* - Captial Lights
  16. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree* - Jaymes Reunion
  17. Angels We Have Heard On High* - Corey Crowder
    *Denotes New recordings
spacer Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics



go to main Album review page
go to Album review archive


(JFH Sponsor Spot)



Listen to the New EP from Life UNLTD!

Search JFH

Sunday, October 11, 2020
We are the City Lover is Dead - Single (independent)

Monday, October 12, 2020
NF Chasing_(Demo) [feat. Mikayla Sippel] - Single [Capitol]

Tuesday, October 13, 2020
NEEDTOBREATHE Who Am I (feat. Elle King) - Single [Centricity/Elektra]

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Mastedon Mastedon 3 (with John Elefante) [Girder]
One Bad Pig Smash CD & Colored Vinyl [Girder]

This Friday, October 16, 2020
Dave Barnes We're Gonna Miss These Days - Single (independent)
CAIN Celebrate Me Home - Single [Provident]
Cross Point Music Even More - Single [Centricity]
Sean Curran Catch Me Singing - Single [Capitol CMG]
Jonny Diaz Hear That Story EP [Centricity]
Everything In Slow Motion Influence [Facedown]
Jordan Feliz Next To Me - Single [Centricity]
for KING & COUNTRY Heavenly Hosts - Single [Curb/Word]
Junior Garr Waters - Single [Integrity]
Amy Grant Unguarded: 35th Anniversary 2-Disc White Vinyl [AG]
Jesus Culture Jesus Culture Collection [Capitol CMG]
Kari Jobe Heaven Invade - Single [Capitol CMG]
Local Sound The Free World Vol. 2 EP [Integrity]
Open Heaven Focused On You - Single [DREAM]
Tommee Proffit The Birth of A King [Capitol CMG]
Lynda Randle White Christmas [Gaither]
Chris Renzema Tear My House Down - Single [Centricity]
Jordan Smith Angels We Have Heard (Glory Be) - Single [Provident]
Social Club Misfits Conmigo - Single [Capitol CMG]
Throwback Kid Caught Inside EP [7Core]
Zach Williams Go Tell It On the Mountain - Single [Provident]
Matthew West The Hope of Christmas - Single [Provident]

Next Friday, October 23, 2020
Francesca Battistelli This Christmas [Curb/Word]
Colton Dixon Let It Snow - Single [Atlantic/Hear It Loud]
Earth Groans Waste EP [Solid State]
Fireflight Who We Are: The Head and The Heart [Rockfest]
Jason Gray Order Disorder Reorder [Centricity]
I Am They Faithful God [Provident]
Kari Jobe The Blessing [Sparrow]
Sarah Kruger Light [Integrity]
North Point Worship Abundantly More (live) - Single [Centricity]
Unspoken Good News - Single [Centricity]
Various Artists DREAM Christmas Vol. 5 [DREAM]

For all release dates, click here!

Listen to the new album from Paul Demer!

  • Image Mulan
    PG-13 (Digital HD)

Listen to the new album from Since The Death!