“The Lost Christmas Eve” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Title: “The Lost Christmas Eve”
Label: Lava Records
Release Date: 10/12/2004
Genre: Holiday Rock
Rating: 8/10

A few years have passed since the last release for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and this one comes with some anticipation. With “The Lost Christmas Eve” we find the Christmas Trilogy at its completion and offering another glimpse into the magic that this group can deliver. As you would expect this CD continues along in the same musical themes as their previous efforts of “Christmas Eve And Other Stories” and “The Christmas Attic”. The mix of classical, holiday and rock is blended together in a very effective manner once again. The 1st CD is by far the best and in my opinion very difficult to surpass, yet I found that I also enjoyed the new one quite a bit. I actually preferred this over “The Christmas Attic”. With “TLCE” there are more instrumentals and I felt that these added some amount of progression from the first two by taking similar ideas and expanding upon them. The best way to view the numbers is to also realize that they are heavier than the last efforts managed to be. Songs like “Wizards In Winter” and “Siberian Sleigh Ride” are absolutely rocking and get repeat plays on my stereo when I listen. The vocal tracks hold a very Broadway feel to them which makes one wonder if Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s storylines will eventually be taken to the stage in that capacity. It could actually work as the story laid out on each of the albums is quite good. The proper director and stage design could make this even bigger than the Holiday show at Radio City Music Hall in my opinion.

Once again under the watchful eye of Creators Paul O’Neill and Robert Kinkel the release has a lot of overall highlights. In addition to the tracks I referenced above I also found myself enjoying “Christmas Jam” but was sad to find “Faith Noel” to be such a carryover from Attic’s “Boughs Of Holly”. The players on the CD while too numerous to list all of include Chris Caffery, Jeff Plate and Al Pitrelli – all of them members of the legendary Savatage. There were a number of strong vocal numbers and as I said they had such a Broadway feel to them that just makes you feel as if you watch a play while listening. Songs such as “What Is Christmas” are among the best examples of this style. “Christmas Canon Rock” is a redo of the “Christmas Canon” from the last album and finds a stellar female vocal instead of choir this time around. There are two short pieces in “Christmas Concierto” and “Christmas Jazz” which personally I could take or leave but with 75 minutes of music to enjoy you are certainly getting your money’s worth on the record. One of the surprises that the Savatage fans might enjoy is the inclusion of “Back To A Reason” (first featured on “Poets And Madmen” and now given the Trans-Siberian Orchestra style). “For The Sake Of Our Brother” is a soulfully sung number by the late Daryl Pediford. The band lost Daryl just before touring began in 2004 and he will be truly missed both on recordings and in concert. I feel he remains a part of all the TSO fan and band hearts just the same.

The CD comes with a great booklet just as the others have come with. In this you will find the lyrics and story for this chapter. I like the notion that such work gets put into this area of the release. If it has taken this long for you to give the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra a chance then that is indeed a shame. However while I admit this CD grew on me after a few listens, it is still not the same as “Christmas Eve And Other Stories”. My advice holds to buy that one first and then adventure further on. With the “Christmas Trilogy” complete now is actually the best time to give them a try. I doubt you will be disappointed.

Track Listing:
1. Faith Noel
2. The Lost Christmas Eve
3. Christmas Dreams
4. Wizards In Winter
5. Remember
6. Anno Domine
7. Christmas Concierto
8. Queen Of The Winter Night
9. Christmas Nights In Blue
10. Christmas Jazz
11. Christmas Jam
12. Siberian Sleigh Ride
13. What Is Christmas?
14. For The Sake Of Our Brother
15. The Wisdom Of Snow
16. Wish Liszt (Toy Shop Madness)
17. Back To A Reason (Part II)
18. Christmas Bells, Carousels And Time
19. What Child Is This?
20. O’ Come All Ye Faithful
21. Christmas Canon Rock
22. Different Wings
Post Script
23. Midnite Clear

Official Web site: www.trans-siberian.com

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