“The Christmas Attic” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Title: “The Christmas Attic”
Label: Lava Records
Release Date: 10/13/1998
Genre: Holiday Rock
Rating: 7/10

The second release that Paul O’Neill has created with his Holiday Orchestra is entitled “The Christmas Attic”. The release follows the astounding “Christmas Eve & Other Stories” with a combination of holiday inspired instrumentals and often moving vocal pieces. As I listened I admit that I found this a little harder to enjoy as much as I did the first release. Perhaps it was because of the overall quality of that CD and the impact that it not only had on music but for its effect on the holiday season in general. Once again, O’Neill weaves a story that captures your interest and heart as he revisits the Angel from the last tale and sends him on his next mission. He is building a wonderful theme with these stories and they make for a good read even without the music to go along with it. The instrumental numbers like “Boughs Of Holly” and “Appalachian Snowfall” are clearly highlights right off the bat. As most know, O’Neill was also a core-writer on many Savatage classics with Jon Oliva. As a result of this partnership you will find a very Savatage like vibe to be very present in much of the meatier numbers that the Orchestra does. In the vocal based numbers there are some very good ones as well such as “Christmas In The Air” and “Music Box” (sung by Katrina Chester) as well as it’s more soulful variation “Music Box Blues” (performed by Daryl Pediford). “Christmas Canon” is a soft piece that clearly belongs on a mass-released Holiday compilation of some sort to reach an even larger audience. Once again members of the band Savatage perform on this recording as well as a number of Broadway level talented singers. It is an interesting mix to say the least. For reference sake the key players on this CD are Robert Kinkel, Jon Oliva, Al Pitrelli, Chris Caffery, Jeff Plate, John Middleton, and Paul O’Neill.

Similar to the first CD “The Christmas Attic” also comes with the booklet to let you follow along with not only the lyrics but the story that is lined out by O’Neill. However if this is your first reference to the group and you are finding it interesting you don’t want to make this album your first choice. I recommend looking into “Christmas Eve & Other Stories” first because it is overall outstanding. “Christmas Attic” does have moments but you will be better served by the premiere. Those that have been following already will pick it up based on the original interest yet the newbie should wait as I referenced above. When you have absorbed it all, then look into moving forward and purchasing the second part of their Christmas music. Trans-Siberian Orchestra is not only something you will enjoy on your own, but can definitely be shared with the family as well.

Track Listing:
1. The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve
2. Boughs Of Holly
3. The World That She Sees
4. The World That He Sees
5. Midnight Christmas Eve
6. The March Of The Kings/Hark The Herald Angel
7. The Three Kings And I ( what Really Happened)
8. Christmas Canon
9. Joy/Angels We Have Heard On High
10. Find Our Way Home
11. Appalachian Snowfall
12. The Music Box
13. The Snow Came Down
14. Christmas In The Air
15. Dream Child (A Christmas Dream)
16. An Angel’s Share
17. Music Box Blues

Official Web site: www.Trans-Siberian.com

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