The Sprinkle Family
A Very Sprinkle Christmas
Release Date: 12/1/15
So, Jesse Sprinkle does some pretty cool stuff. If you aren’t familiar, you may recognize his name from a number of former bands like Poor Old Lu, Demon Hunter, Morella’s Forest, Vekora, Serene, etc. Or maybe you know him from his solo work as The World Inside?
The whole Sprinkle family (Amanda, Mira, Greta, Ravenna, Winston, and Amos) as well as members of Poor Old Lu, Vekora, and Fringe all join in the fun on what is now officially my favorite Christmas album ever.
It’s hard to nail down favorites here because I love it all. Most of it is upbeat and acoustically driven with rap verses interspersed here and there to break the potential monotony. “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” starts out with Jesse crooning a bit, but quickly picks up into a rollicking affair that makes me love this song more than I already did. The whole family’s work on “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” is a reminder that family is a gift. Hearing them all sing together is just so much fun! And, for the off-kilter type, there’s even a Savior Machine inspired version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” I had planned to make fun of it a bit here, but, as it turns out, I really dig it. I have never thought of this as a sad song, but I kinda see it now.
“The Gift We Want” is a powerful moment as well. The sound of the word “Hallelujah” in the opening moments is heart stopping as the rest of the band finally comes in to create a magnificent crescendo of “We Love You.” This song literally brings tears to my eyes. Sharing the same faith as the Sprinkle Family, I found this incredibly intimate and wildly appropriate for all times of the year.
“The Brightest Star” by Poor Old Lu and Vekora is one of the bonus tracks and it rivals Amos Sprinkle’s version of “Rudolph” in the outtakes. It’s the voices that take over here. Alexandra Wendt and Scott Hunter sound brilliant together, with Hunter’s airy voice counterbalanced by Wendt’s deeper voice. The music lays the foundation for it all reminding me of everything I loved about Poor Old Lu’s reunion album. Perhaps it will inspire one more.
What makes this album great is how real it is. There aren’t a ton of slickly produced songs with perfect choruses and radio likability. it’s real people playing great songs. It’s the sound of what we all hear around us (provided we live outside Nashville, L.A., or NYC) this time of year. This is an album about hope, family, celebration, and the birth of Christ. You need to own it.
Reviewed by Mark 1340