Gypsy Soul

Sacred

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Pop/folk duo Gypsy Soul runs its own record label, Off the Beaten Track Records, which issued its two previous albums of original material, Test of Time and Sanctuary. Clearly, group members Cilette Swann (who sings) and Roman Morykit (who plays most of the instruments) understand that the more records a company has in its catalog the better, and a Christmas collection can be a perennial seller. Thus, Sacred is their first holiday album, and as its title indicates, it is full of traditional carols and hymns. The arrangements are eclectic within an acoustic framework. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is rendered in a jazzy style that sounds like a cross between the original song and "St. James Infirmary"; "O Holy Night" could appear on an acoustic country Christmas album; "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" would fit on one of Windham Hill's new age seasonal samplers. Swann is a more restrained singer here than on the group's regular albums, giving the songs reverent, if slightly melancholy readings. This will be a welcome collection to fans of acoustic music, who may want to investigate Gypsy Soul's non-holiday fare next.

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