Lindsey Stirling
Warmer In The Winter
(Concord Records)

Months ahead of Christmas and the holiday season, Lindsey Stirling is as ready as she will ever be for it. She puts the scope of her artistic mindset on full display on her new holiday album, Warmer In The Winter. Lindsey’s violin playing makes the tunes, which include a number of reimagined classics, feel like you could bop along to them for awhile; it’s slick and well presented. Although some of the texture in the more classic tunes is technically lost, Lindsey takes these songs and makes them her own.

On her rendition of “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch,” the opposite effect is achieved. There’s a lot going on, but the presentation is compelling and confident. There are majestic feeling brass parts that combine, of course, with Lindsey’s passionate violin playing. Her playing adds a depth to the song that would not be there otherwise. (Her adaptation includes the first three verses.)

Warmer In The Winter is a solid alt pop holiday season album. Stirling really shows all the different things you can do with a violin. The special aspect to this album is that through it all, through the pop Christmas lyrical songs, and through the instrumental tracks, Lindsey’s violin is there to simultaneously make you feel like moving around and swaying to the music and to capture your attention.

Warmer In The Winter moves between the more poppy lyrical tracks and the occasional almost meditative instrumental parts well – and it establishes itself in such a manner within the first few tracks, at that.

Her original tracks on the record are solid. Her collaboration with All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth is no doubt going to be well received. His singing and her playing coexist in the track nicely.

The instrumental renditions of classic holiday songs on the album, like “Angels We Have Heard On High,” almost make you want to sing; there’s no lack here, even though there aren’t any lyrics. There is still great texture to the music. If you imagine the lyrics while listening – which it will no doubt be hard not to do- there are clear and enjoyable parts when Lindsey goes off and adds her own embellishments.

Every track feels like a world unto itself. Stirling uses music expertly to paint a picture in the absence of words. The ends of songs, the instrumental ones especially, kind of make you want to applaud.

Purchase the album here: iTunes | Amazon

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