Mannheim Steamroller
Christmas in the Aire


4.5
superb

Review

by NightmareCinema16 USER (36 Reviews)
December 13th, 2012 | 41 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mannheim Steamroller’s finest Christmas album to this day…

If there’s a new age Christmas group that many people should know, that group would either be Transiberian Orchestra, or its older delinquent, Mannheim Steamroller. Mannheim Steamroller was a new age music group first founded in 1975, but wouldn’t be well known until 1984, when they released their first holiday album, Christmas. It helped them make their holiday spirit breakthrough. While it was great, they wouldn’t reach the apex of their career until the year 1995, when they came out with their third winter spectacular, Christmas in the Aire. This is when Mannheim Steamroller would reach its finest point in their music.

If there already is any grandiose effect in this album, it is that Mannheim Steamroller finally served the perfect blend of new and old age music, one that perhaps beats the last two Christmas albums they made. They put excitement and upbeat spirit into songs such as Joy to the World, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Angels We Have Heard on High, while putting a spectacle of emotion and mellowness into Jingle Bells, Joseph Dear Oh Joseph Mine, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem and parts of Peces del Rio. But that is not the only greatness that exists in this album.

The older, more traditional elements of Christmas in the Aire are highly refined, concentrated, and a little more fun to listen to. Take for example, in Pat-A-Pan, in all of the new age music brings in the old airs of the past. As an extra bonus, the album also puts in a unique selection of cultures from all over the world to bring more flavor to the album, like Los Peces en el Rio in which Mannheim Steamroller presents the darker, edgier side of Latin-American music, and Gagliarda, which delivers the original European Renaissance mood to the listener. But there is much more to the plethora of benefits to this album than just this.

Another noteworthy advantage is the group members play in harmony with each other. As a result, they complement each other’s work in this album. Almeda and Jackson Berkey are the two keyboardists responsible for the new world elements contributed to Christmas in the Aire whereas Bobby Jenkins, Roxanne Layton, and Arnie Roth balance it out with the older, more traditional sounding musicality. These members in return create the perfect complimentary blend of music possible. Almost comparable to the best hot chocolate you’ve had. As for all the other members, they still have their good musical contributions as well, in comparison to the past two Christmas albums where the balance between the musicians was a little shaky.

As for vocals, there’s not much to that. In fact, it may be better that because there’s a really small amount of singing in this album. As an advantage, Mannheim Steamroller didn’t have to worry about how well they created their lyrics, or if they even created any lyrics in general, for that matter. There are one or two songs on this album that involve choirs singing old traditional choirs, which in reality, are considerably harmless. It may only benefit the diversity of the album.

Chip Davis’ effort to create a long lived holiday album kept getting closer as Christmas and a Fresh Aire Christmas were made. As eleven years passed between the original Christmas and Christmas in the Aire were released, Mannheim Steamroller began to evolve and put more meaning into the spirit of the holidays and their own music. Their evolution was simply a statement saying that they can compete with some of the other holiday musicians and win the battle. Maybe that explains why Christmas in the Aire was the best-selling holiday album in the year 1995. They continued to please the minds of listeners all around the United States and the world by keeping up to date with the times without losing the traditional concepts of the album that made Mannheim Steamroller what it was. In this success, Chip Davis had reached his achievement and would continue to maintain the standards of new age music for years to come.

And on that note, have a Merry Christmas.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
NightmareCinema16
December 12th 2012


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Well, that took long enough.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 13th 2012


19916 Comments


Take out the "Is" after already in the first sentence of the second paragraph (not needed) ;)

Great review man props for reviewing them they rock! Pos from me



Digging: Dornenreich - Freiheit

someguest
December 13th 2012


20865 Comments


Steamheim Mannroller

Digging: Dexter Gordon - Our Man in Paris

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
December 13th 2012


4507 Comments


someguest, what a profile picture. classy as ever

someguest
December 13th 2012


20865 Comments


I love my smile.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
December 13th 2012


4507 Comments


dat colgate

NightmareCinema16
December 13th 2012


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

dat smile.

NightmareCinema16
December 13th 2012


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

@Atari, thanks for catching the unecessary "is" for me. This will probably be the only Christmas review I do this year. I might have another one next year. But for now, another Flower Kings and Rachmaninoff reviews coming up next.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 13th 2012


19916 Comments


No problem, glad these guys finally have a review keep it up!

NightmareCinema16
December 13th 2012


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks, man.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 13th 2012


19916 Comments


Do u think I'd like the flower kings?

NightmareCinema16
December 13th 2012


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Do you like prog rock in general?

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 13th 2012


19916 Comments


Yeah but I'm still relatively new to it. Just discovered jethro Tull and he's amazing. Also like rush, king crimson. And yes

NightmareCinema16
December 13th 2012


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Then you'll probably like them. I'd suggest Unfold the Future, Space Revolver, Stardust We Are, and their newest album, Banks of Eden. Keep up the listening with the older content as well. You'll probably like both.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 13th 2012


19916 Comments


Sweet I'll check them out and let u know what I think man

NightmareCinema16
December 13th 2012


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ok. U might've seen both of my FK reviews, but if u haven't, there's Back in the world of adventures, retropolis, and soon there'll be Stardust We are.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 13th 2012


19916 Comments


I saw one of them and u mentioned you're doing another review for them so I figured id give them a shot

NightmareCinema16
December 13th 2012


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks, man. I'd call myself the progrockadile, but I've still got work to do.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 13th 2012


19916 Comments


lol never heard that before, alright get to work!!

NightmareCinema16
December 13th 2012


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yessir! :D



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