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Shushan the Palace (Hymns of Earth) Christmas

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Album Review

Shushan the Palace (Hymns of Earth), Jane Siberry's Christmas album, also doubles as her classical album. The recording, "originally only Christmas songs, but ultimately becoming less seasonal," as she puts it in her liner notes, finds her singing religious material composed by the likes of Handel, Bach, Mendelssohn, Holst, and others. The classical music meets her more than halfway, especially because of her own orchestrations and those of Peter Kiesewalter, which, employing a small orchestra, are not dissimilar to the style of some of Siberry's original, secular music. As a vocalist, she likes to overdub numerous parts, creating a sound that sometimes recalls vocal groups of the mid-'50s, such as the Chordettes and the McGuire Sisters. This is not the average Christmas album, but it may please the more reverent and serve as a formal, yet not stuffy, change of pace from typical seasonal fare.


Born: 12 October 1955 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The idiosyncratic Canadian art pop chanteuse Jane Siberry was born in Toronto, Ontario on October 12, 1955; after taking up the piano as a child, she began absorbing the classical and operatic inspirations that later distinguished her professional work. While earning a degree in microbiology, Siberry began performing at the local coffeehouse where she also worked as a waitress; ultimately, she used her tip money to fund her 1981 self-titled debut LP, a Spartan offering spotlighting her ethereal vocal...
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Shushan the Palace (Hymns of Earth) Christmas, Jane Siberry
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