The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

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Surpinto
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The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by Surpinto » 1 year ago

As already noted by Jimmy Riddle et al here and at Twitter, Libera has released a new mini-album titled The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

The album can be purchased on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-h ... 1054836595

My first thoughts and impressions on the album....

Santa Will Find You
This is an unusual/unique song for them that is a deviation from their normal repertoire and style, but like many of the songs that I thought would never work for them at first glance I am happily proven wrong. The arrangement is excellent and Isaac as soloist demonstrates his true vocal range and abilities; who knew he could sing so high? We all knew he was a very talented singer but this song is a fantastic showpiece of his faculties. This is “crossover” music at its best; with just the right instrumentation and vocal/choral arrangements to not make it a modern pop song but it’s most certainly not classical-style music either. Some may think the lyrics and theme too saccharine and too secular, and they certainly are when compared to the serious biblical Latin verses of their other music, but I see this as being something that is just mainstream enough to appeal to a much wider audience than Libera usually does, but still capturing their musical essence, creativity, and innovation.

Carol of the Bells
This is one of their best Christmas songs and their arrangement of it has always been excellent. Including it on this EP was definitely justified considering that the music video has over 3 million views on YouTube. I am unable to identify the soloists but I am guessing Lucas was one of them on the high parts at the end and possibly Alex Montoro. Other than a few new voices, like Isaac at the beginning and end, the arrangement seems identical to the one from the past so no more needs to be said about this.

Angels We Have Heard On High
This being one of my top personal favorites in Libera’s Christmas genre I must say this was the only song on the album that gave me any disappointment. My first impression listening to it was that my equipment was not playing it correctly or was not giving me an accurate representation of the soundstage, but when I listened to it a few times first using speakers and then 2 different sets of high-quality headphones I realized that the mixing on it was rather flat; almost as though the acoustics in much of the recording were more representative of the “dead” sound studio in which the recording was made rather than being mixed in post-production to sound like a concert hall or cathedral. Having said that I am heavily biased on this song as it is a favorite and so perhaps I judge too harshly. Most certainly it is wonderfully arranged and performed.

Wexford Carol
This too is one of my top favorites in the Christmas genre and its execution was fantastic. I am extremely impressed with this version and with another brilliant Isaac solo. He solos a different part than he did in Armagh and in Gaelic as well; very nicely done. I have nothing but positive things to say about this song, arrangement, and recording.

dani
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Re: The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by dani » 1 year ago

Nice review :)


Mine is


Santa Will Find You - less said the better here , Isaac has a great voice is the only positive here .


COB - I love this song and along with Veni E. is my favourite Christmas song by them . So any rendition is always great to listen to an they can never go wrong with this song.


Angels on a High - I agree I prefer the Ireland performance/song


Wexford Carol - another great song by the group and I love it . The instrument adds something to the song as well .

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Yorkie
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Re: The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by Yorkie » 1 year ago

Well, it is a departure from the Libera of the past and it may take some adjusting to but lets hope it a success on their new 'own' label. I understand that there is to be a video for Santa so lets see what that looks like. Having said that I'm not convinced by the main track but Isaac is as good as ever so there is that.

For US fans, this seems to be primarily aimed at the US Christmas market with radio and shopping mall airplay - do you think that this will stand out and also be a commercial success?
Last edited by Yorkie on Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by dani » 1 year ago

So Libera now have there own label ?


I may not like it but I also hope it's successful and it's aimed at the U.S who seem to be more into this sound .

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Yorkie
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Re: The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by Yorkie » 1 year ago

dani wrote:So Libera now have there own label ?
I may be exaggerating when I say their own label but it was something from when they went to Japan in the summer - somebody did a little digging about it a while back on the forum...
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alcesalcesobservator
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Re: The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by alcesalcesobservator » 1 year ago

The Preview won't load for me. :x

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Surpinto
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Re: The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by Surpinto » 1 year ago

Yorkie wrote:
dani wrote:So Libera now have there own label ?
I may be exaggerating when I say their own label but it was something from when they went to Japan in the summer - somebody did a little digging about it a while back on the forum...
Indeed somebody did look into this :wink:

And, yes, this mini-album was released independently. You can see this in the iTunes copyright description. Here are two iTunes albums side-by-side for comparison. Note the part at the bottom at the ℗. A musical group no longer needs a record label contract to release their own music; though there are advantages to having that partnership.

Image

Of the last 3 iTunes releases (Wonderful World, America the Beautiful, and The Holiday EP) Wonderful World is licensed to Warner under some larger agreement, America the Beautiful is licensed to Libera of the U.S. (not sure what the story is there), and this latest one is licensed to Robert Prizeman directly.

As for the Japanese thing, that is the Libera-Records thing and applies only to the stuff they did in Japan (i.e. the upcoming CD/DVD combo) as that organization was instrumental in the USJ trip as well as the upcoming Japanese tour.

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chris17
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Re: The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by chris17 » 1 year ago

I loved this version of The Wexford Carol. :D Even though I love the live recording, I think the harmonies come through stronger in this rendition. Carol of the Bells sounded good as well, minus the percussion instrument sounding a little off-key around 1:51 in the song.

I'm not a huge fan of Santa Will Find You, but after listening to it a couple times, I think it's not that bad. I'm not big into the lyrics, but Isaac does sing it wonderfully.

But - does anyone else think the photo kind of looks like Isaac is lifting his head off his body?

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alcesalcesobservator
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Re: The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by alcesalcesobservator » 1 year ago

chris17 wrote:
But - does anyone else think the photo kind of looks like Isaac is lifting his head off his body?
It looked to me like he is listening to a secret-service style earpiece. :lol:

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alcesalcesobservator
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Re: The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by alcesalcesobservator » 1 year ago

alcesalcesobservator wrote:The Preview won't load for me. :x
Okay, got it to work! So just with previews--

"Santa Will Find You"--still think the title and premise is a little creepy. Maybe it's because SWFY comes across very much like a hymn, and the idea of a hymn to someone other then God just doesn't sit well with me. But it is beautifully sung.

Wexford Carol-- the flute or whistle used for the solo is soul-satisfyingly haunting.

Carol of the Bells--it's good, as usual.

Angels We Have Heard-- I like it better than the live version.

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henrylonghorn
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Re: The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by henrylonghorn » 1 year ago

I just went through the generous 1:30 previews, and my overall impression is that the new arrangements/recordings sound more lighthearted and playful than those we've heard before.

"Carol of the Bells" has certainly become a Libera essential, just like Sanctus, Salva Me, etc. We can make comparisons of the condition of the choir using this song, because it gets the whole group involved and is fairly challenging. From what I can tell, there's no evidence of a decline in quality.

"Angels We..." now has distinct beats (around 1:00 in preview). It reminds me somewhat of Sanctus 2 (Luminosa). Interesting change.

The mystery of "Santa..." has finally been revealed to us. It is, well, a daring innovation. I agree with the previous reviews here that it gives Isaac the freedom to showcase the best of his vocal training. I personally like him singing this song more than the previous, more serious pieces like "The Prayer". Of course, there will be huge uncertainties as to how fans in different countries will react, as well as the general unsuspecting holiday shopper in Libera-friendly stores.
Hark, we hear a distant music and it comes with fuller swell
’tis the glorious song of heaven and our fears it will dispel.

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Re: The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by JimmyRiddle » 1 year ago

‘Santa Will Find You' does take a little getting used too, it's not the usual Libera production we've become accustomed too, and for some this song will be more Christmas Turkey than Christmas Cracker but I do actually like Isaac's voice on the lyrics. Maybe a few more plays in the run-up to Christmas itself will place it in better context, and apparently there’s a video to come.

The Christmas cracker is of course 'COTB' and libera will be pulling this out of their seasonal box of tricks for many a yuletide to come.

I did not initially play ‘Wexford Carol’ in full and was a little disappointed that Isaac’s Gaelic intro was missing from the song, but then later discovered he sings a longer solo in the middle on this new recording. Probably my favourite reproduction on the mini-album

‘Angels we have heard..’ is okay, but I prefer the Ireland CD/DVD.
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danny-bulgaria
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Re: The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by danny-bulgaria » 1 year ago

I dont understand this iThings... its all too complicated for me hahaha. Is there any other way to buy this album ?

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Re: The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by TullyBascombe » 1 year ago

I'm having trouble gaining access to those songs. When I click on the link in Surpinto's post it takes me to a webpage, but if I click on one of the songs on those pages it takes me to the home page for iTunes. If I then search for Libera I can't find The Holiday EP.

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danny-bulgaria
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Re: The Holiday EP (Santa Will Find You)

Post by danny-bulgaria » 1 year ago

...and that is the reason I have not tried yet. It's always the same for me with the iThings :) . I am praying for different option to get this album...

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