I could quite likely make it through the Christmas season with only this CD. Chanticleer is an ensemble that sets the highest standards for itself, in terms both of performance and production, and lives up to them with every album. This album presents a variety of languages, cultures, and time periods (Renaissance to American Gospel) and Chanticleer switches seamlessly from style to style, often in the same piece.
The vocal sound and ensemble are unparalleled by any other group I've heard. Every line is clear and beautiful, from the bass up through the soaring countertenor voices. While there are occaisonally soloists, there really are no stars in this album - it is a performance by the entire group. The arrangements are also very creative, such as Silent Night with 3 verses, each in a different language, and In Dulci Jubilo with 4 verses, each by a different arranger.
The bottom line, however, is the music itself. It doesn't matter how many different styles will fit on one album if the end result is musically lacking. That is not a concern here - music is first and foremost, and this album rises well above a densely-packed field of Christmas records.