Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dustin Kensrue -This Good Night is Still Everywhere

This Good Night Is Still Everywhere

Let me begin by saying that I absolutely loathe Christmas music.  There.  I said it.  I loathe it.  From Thanksgiving all the way to Christmas I hear the same overly peppy music in every location I go.  I am not even safe in my own vehicle, since my family wants to hear it. 

I can tolerate some Trans-Siberian Orchestra and really nice orchestral works of the classics.  I enjoy the live music from The Nutcracker. 

However, a few years ago, I discovered a Christmas album that would change my Christmas life.  Dustin Kensrue’s This Good Night is Still Everywhere. It’s rock.  It’s blues.  It’s emotional. 
It isn’t “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”.  All you have to do is watch the first official music video for This is War.  It’s a different breed of Christmas tune. 

To begin with, Dustin Kensrue is my musical idol.  His incredible vocals are unmatched by any I’ve ever heard.  As the lead singer from my favorite band of all time (Thrice), he’s shown a knack for screaming and growling to go along with some of the most soulful and emotionally wrought clean vocals of all time. 

Thrice should be viewed upon like the Beatles of my generation.  

I digress. 

Dustin Kensrue has an acoustic side project.  His debut album, Please Come Home, Is a complete masterpiece.  Its Thrice meets blues, meets Johnny Cash, meets awesome. 

He follows it up with a Christmas album… and I couldn’t be happier.  I finally have a Christmas album I can listen to that everyone can (sort of) get into. 

You have the old classic church hymnals like Hark The Herald Angels Sing, O Come O Come, Emmanuel, God Rest You Merry gentlemen, O Holy Night, and O Come, All Ye Faithful.  Except… they are darker.  They aren’t bright.  They sound sad and emotional.  Probably the way the songs were supposed to sound when the composers thought of them many moons ago.  When Dustin Kensrue’s gravelly voice wails during the bridge of O Holy Night, the emotion is like a knife to the heart. 

He also has some non-traditional Christmas music on there.  Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) opens the CD, and I think that was a mistake.  It doesn’t show off the dark tone of the whole album.  You have some bluesy tracks after in Christmas Blues and Blue Christmas.  Then you’ve got some awesome “modern” Christmas songs like Fairytale of New York and This is War. 

This album screams quality.  It has a raw sound that makes it feel as though Kensrue and his backing band are right in the room with you.  They vocals are astounding.  It’s a striking album of any kind.  It just so happens to be a Christmas album. 

Thank God I get an excuse to listen to it every year.

--The Professor

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