There's a Star Above the Manger Tonight is a surprising turnaround for Red Red Meat, one that most of their fervent supporters wouldn't have expected. Over the coruse of their first two LPs, the group reworked classic rock and folk-rock, creating a shambling, charming indie variation of roots-rock. Though that remains the foundation of their sound, the group opens their music up by incorporating samplers, synthesizers and sequencers, bringing their country-rock into dub and trip-hop territory. For some old fans, the change might be a little off-putting, and some of the experimentations do fall flat, but There's a Star Above the Manger Tonight remains a brave record, and one that moves the band toward new, often uncharted territory. They might not always be successful, or know where they're going, but it's usually interesting.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine