Christmastime Is Here
The internationally acclaimed Marc Martel has quickly become a fixture during the holiday season, notching his fourth Top 10 at Christmas radio last year, and is now serving up another strong collection in his third Christmas EP in as many years - Christmastime Is Here. Recognized for his Freddie Mercury-esque vocals, he follows up last year's The First Noel EP with 6 brand new Christmas classics. Martel’s newest projectcontinues the tradition he has been building, recreating iconic holiday favorites while bringing a fresh energy and musical perspective.
The title track sets the mood, with a warm, heartfelt rendition, featuring a brilliant trumpet solo. And even though the Charlie Brown favorite is known for its delicate, moody tone, Martel is unhindered from reaching for some astonishing notes in his upper register. Building on the tradition of collaboration with industry friends, Martel enlists Centricity Music artist, Jason Grayto divvy up the leads on the powerful and energetic “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” Martel and Gray’s vocal blend is so good, at times it is difficult to know who is who. Martel continues his love for cinematic pop on “O Little Town Of Bethlehem”, with a stirring additional bridge - a skill he has shown a knack for when reimagining old hymns. The big surprise on The Christmastime Is Here EP, though, is a bold rockabilly take on Mariah Carey’s ubiquitous “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Martel’s version is so eerily fitting, that you might even feel like you’ve heard it before. What follows is a sentimental stripped-down performance of the crooning “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” where Martel says the only way he could get the feel just right was to record both piano and voice at the same time. The typical approach to the EP’s closing title, “Little Drummer Boy,” is a quiet, lighthearted march, but Martel chooses grandiosity over tradition by summoning not only military-style drums but the epic flare of bagpipes, reminiscent Michael W. Smith’s “This Is Your Time”.