2002: Rose of Bethlehem
It comes as little surprise that Selah’s Christmas album is free of Santa Claus, reindeer and jingling bells. Rose of Bethlehem focuses purely on the religious aspect of the holiday, and includes sacred classics like Silent Night, O Come O Come Emmanuel and What Child is This? The trio’s renditions of these pieces are simplistic and powerful. The mood changes dramatically with the fun and upbeat Noel, a percussion-heavy song sung in Kituba, the language spoken by siblings Nicol and Todd Smith during their childhood in South Africa. The closing piece is the little known title track, which brings a sombre and emotive finish to the album. Whilst Rose of Bethlehem is not the album to turn up at your next Christmas party, it is a thought provoking and beautiful look at a different aspect of the holiday.