Family entertainer Brady Rymer is keeping himself busy this year. Rymer released his latest album Songs Across The Pond over the summer. The record was a collaboration with fellow family entertainer David Gibb. Later this month he will host a free livestream concert. The performance is scheduled to take place noon ET on Dec. 19 through Rymer’s official Facebook page. Additionally, Rymer and his fellow musicians The Little Band That Could debuted their latest single, ‘Angels in The Snow’ Friday. The song is the lead single from the group’s new holiday compilation by the same name, which was released Nov. 6 through Bumblin’ Bee Records. The record is among the most unique of this year’s new holiday music compilations if not the year’s most unique. That is due in no small part to the record’s featured songs, which will be discussed shortly. The musical arrangements that are featured within the four song EP add their own share of interest to the record, and will be discussed a little later. The songs’ sequencing rounds out the most important of the EP’s elements. When it is considered with the noted other items, the whole of those items makes Angels in the Snow a holiday music compilation that the whole family will enjoy.
Angels in the Snow, the new holiday music compilation from Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could, is presentation that holds is own against its counterparts in this year’s field of new holiday music compilations. That is due in no small part to the record’s featured songs. Of the four songs that make up the record’s body, three are originals. Only one – ‘My Favorite Things’ – is a cover. The album’s lead single and title track does incorporate the traditional holiday song ‘Angels We Have Heard on High,’ but its use in that song is minimal at best. It is more of a “supporting element” to the bigger composition than its focus. Even the lyrical themes in the songs are largely original, making the songs even more engaging and entertaining. ‘Why, Daddy, Why’ for instance is something to which every parent and child can relate. It finds a young child asking his/her dad why he/she has to wait to open his/her presents on Christmas morning. The anticipation is so difficult for the child as he/she has to wait for his/her parents to get coffee first and do other things.
While ‘My Favorite Things’ is at its heart, a cover of the timeless classic from The Sound of Music, this version presents the “favorite things” of a dog. Among those favorite things are: hanging the dog’s head out the window of a moving vehicle, feeling snowflakes fall on its nose, and “naps in the cool shade.” So even while they have covered a classic here, Rymer and company still give the song a new, unique touch that adds even more to the appeal to its presentation and that of the EP.
‘Writing A Letter to Santa Claus’ is another way in which the EP’s songs show their own importance. This song is straight forward. It is told from the vantage point of a child who is writing that letter to Santa with all of his/her wishes for Christmas. What is really interesting about the song’s lyrical theme is that while yes, there are wishes for certain toys and other items, the letter also tells Santa that the child wants to ride in his sleigh, etc. So it’s not just about the toys. That adds even more appeal to the song. In turn, it adds even more appeal to the EP overall. Keeping that in mind along with the content in the other noted songs and their overall originality, no doubt is left at this point as to the importance of the songs featured in Rymer and company’s new EP to its presentation. They are just a portion of what makes the record stand out. The musical arrangements featured within the songs add their own touch to the EP’s presentation, too.
The arrangements that are featured within Angels in the Snow are just as original as the songs themselves. They are also diverse. The EP’s closer, ‘Writing A Letter to Santa’ presents a vintage country/western style arrangement, complete with the slide guitar twang that is so trademark to the genre and the just as audible twang in Rymer’s vocal delivery. The subtle addition of the organ (likely a Hammond B3) and the gentle snare drum rolls enriches the song’s arrangement even more. Much the same can be said of the addition of the sleigh bells just as Rymer mentions the reindeer.
The simple arrangement featured in the EP’s title track/opener lends itself ever so slightly to works from Soul Asylum, giving listeners even more musical variety. As a matter of fact, one could argue that Rymer’s vocal delivery here lends itself just as slightly to not just Soul Asylum front man Dave Pirner, but also to The Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger. The Jagger comparison is especially audible in the song’s choruses while the comparison to Pirner is more noticeable in the verses. The stylistic approach to the song’s instrumentation, what with the use of the drums, keyboards, and guitar add to the comparison to Soul Asylum works. The equally subtle use of the bells adds its own special touch to the song’s arrangement. The whole of this arrangement is just one more exhibition of how the record’s musical content makes the record’s musical side so important. The arrangement featured in ‘Why, Daddy, Why’ is yet another example of what makes the record’s musical presentation so important.
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Why, Daddy, Why’ takes listeners back to the 1960s. This arrangement is one that will especially appeal to parents (and even grandparents). That is thanks to the use of the horns, piano, and drums. The immediate comparison that comes to this critic’s mind is that of Dr. John. Such comparison is due more to the song’s instrumentation here than Rymer’s performance. The energy is there, but is also just controlled enough to paint a rich of that child on the stairs, head in hands, waiting so patiently yet anxiously. At the same time, the overall sound conjures those thoughts of those night clubs from days gone by. It is an arrangement in whole that has so much substance, in other words, and is certain to appeal to listeners of all ages. When this is considered along with the appeal in the other songs addressed here and with that of Rymer’s updated take of ‘My Favorite Things,’ the arrangements in whole prove to be just as important to the EP’s presentation as its songs. Together, these two elements more than ensure listeners’ engagement and enjoyment, and are just a portion of what makes the record stand out. The songs’ sequencing rounds out the EP’s most important elements.
In listening through the course of Angels in Snow, listeners will note that the 13-minute record is mostly a gentle, relaxed presentation. Its mid-tempo opener, more relaxed take of ‘My Favorite Things’ and reserved energy in its closer collectively keep its mood relatively relaxed without being too slow. ‘Why, Daddy, Why’ meanwhile breaks up that more relaxed sense that populates most of the song, what with its more excited energy and lyrical content. In breaking up the album and changing things up even momentarily, that variance helps to make the record’s sequencing just as impacting as the EP’s overall content. Keeping this in mind, the positive result of the EP’s sequencing shows its importance just as much as the EP’s songs and their musical arrangements. All things considered, they make the record in whole a surprisingly welcome musical gift that the whole family will enjoy.
Brady Rymer & The Little Band The Could have released in its new EP Angels in the Snow, a work that is among the best of this year’s new holiday music compilations if not the year’s best overall. That is proven in part through the songs that make up the record’s body. They are largely original compositions instead of covers. Their lyrical content is original, too, even in the cover of ‘My Favorite Things.’ The arrangements that accompany the songs and their lyrical content are original in their own right. This adds even more pleasure to the listening experience in the case of this EP. The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements. It ensures listeners’ engagement and enjoyment just as much as the record’s content because of how it balances the EP’s energy. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the record. All things considered they make Angels in the Snow a record that will find plenty of plays any holiday season.
Angels in the Snow is available now. More information on the album is available along with Brady Rymer’s latest news at:
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