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The Sounding Joy is a family album by Elizabeth Mitchell and friends. The album is a sweet collection of Christmas songs and folk carols from Ruth Crawford Seeger’s 1953 songbook American Folk Songs for Christmas.
The album is comprised of several familiar Christmas Tunes, including “The First Noel,” “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World.” I kept waiting for Mitchell to put her own spin on the songs, but she really didn’t – it was just another average Christmas children’s music album.
The album started off rough, and after listening to the first song I did not want to listen to any more. The song, titled “Oh, Mary and the Baby, Sweet Lamb,” consisted of just those words for lyrics, repeated over and over. I just wanted to scream, “WE GET IT!” When the second song started out almost exactly the same way, I wanted to hit my head against a wall.
However, the album did improve. The songs that featured other voices along with Mitchell’s were fun, with a mix of harmonized voices and singing help from children. Songs such as “Low How a Rose E’er Blooming” had harmonizing vocals, which weren’t the greatest, but they were peaceful nonetheless. As the album continued through 24 tracks, Mitchell’s voice varied greatly, hitting both high and low ranges.
My favorite number was the last track, “Little Bitty Baby.” The addition of the adorable children’s voices and the upbeat music made this one the only song I felt like getting up to dance and sing along to.
The soothing tunes with a touch of a southern-y feel would put any child, or adult, to sleep. The songs aren’t great for much more than a nap time accompaniment or a means to stop a fussing child, though.