REVIEW: Home Free – ‘Full Of (Even More) Cheer’

14611112_10154142431294007_1953694351490290474_nChristmas 2015 saw the debut of the collaboration between a cappella group Home Free and Kenny Rogers with ‘Children Go Where I Send Thee’. It was featured on Kenny’s ‘Once Again It’s Christmas’ album but it was the video that captured everyone’s attention. Since then, founder member Chris Rupp has left the group to pursue a solo career, but the iconic 5-part harmonies remain with his role being replaced by new member Adam Chance.

They have always had a close affinity with Christmas music. This is their ninth album, four of which have been aimed towards the festive market. This release is actually a re-release of their ‘Full Of Cheer’ album that came out in 2014, but contains two new tracks and vocals from the new member.

The new tracks are a cover of Zac Brown’s ‘Colder Weather’ and ‘How Great Thou Art’. ‘Colder Weather’ has a very tenuous Christmas connection particularly from anyone who celebrates in the southern hemisphere. It’s merely an excuse for a bunch of great singers to cover a great song, and we guess this is justification in itself. Whether this will be enough to convince anyone to re-purchase the album is a matter for individuals to decide, but judging from the early sales figures, the US audience seem to be embracing it.

‘How Great Thou Art’ is Home Free in their comfort zone. A spiritual masterpiece that wouldn’t feel out of place if it was performed in one of our classic cathedrals here in the UK. The musical style that one comes to expect from Home Free lends itself to traditional Christmas songs, and their natural setting is as much a place of worship as a concert stage.

For those who embrace the spiritual side of Christmas rather than the commercial aspects, this will be an album that will touch a cord. Faultless vocals with a heartiness that seems to resonate at this special time of the year.