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Album Review: A (Not So) Silent Night from Quiz Worx

Finally, a kids’ Christian album that my whole family enjoys!

Can you imagine seeing Colin Buchanan and Karen Pang performing a Christmas concert backed by Blink-182, Relient K, Superchick and The OC Supertones? I’d pay good money for that!

A (Not So) Silent Night

Imagine seeing Colin Buchanan and Karen Pang backed by Blink-182, Relient K, Superchick and The OC Supertones.

Well, that’s what it’s like when you purchase ‘A (Not So) Silent Night’—the latest offering from Quiz Worx—coming out in time for Christmas 2021.

This is a fun, upbeat and celebratory Christmas album featuring ten originals, one parody (Mary had a little lamb boy) and four traditional carols with a distinctly ‘Ben Pakula’ twist. The rocky, energetic cover versions of ‘Hark the Herald …’ and ‘Joy to the World’ are a real highlight of the album. ‘The First Noel’ is a more melodic ’60s rock-‘n-roll dance number, while ‘Silent Night’ highlights the vocal talent at Quiz Worx. Beginning with a worshipful female vocal, then understated male vocal, it builds nicely into something of an anthemic rock ballad, as we’re transported back to ‘the dawn of redeeming grace’ in the incarnation.

The five interspersed tracks of banter between ‘Michael & Puppets’ will entertain long-term fans but gets old quickly for new listeners.

The album delivers on its claim to be all about ‘celebrating Jesus, the one who makes people God’s friends.’ Jesus is definitely front-and-centre of this album. You’ll hear about His birth, life, death and resurrection. He is praised and proclaimed. The gospel message is clearly presented, albeit in very basic language, and we are repeatedly exhorted to read the Bible.

The lyrics suit a primary school audience in their theological simplicity, but the music appeals more broadly. Teenagers and thirty-somethings who think they’re still teenagers will love the plethora of punk rock riffs with huge guitars and tempo switches, not to mention the double-kick bass drum on ‘The King Has Come.’ Combined with a few groovy pop rock tunes and the great ska version of ‘Joy to the World,’ the music provides an entertaining and engaging experience for the full half-hour.

This album would be enjoyed by Christian households who like rock music and serves as a great evangelistic tool. You certainly don’t feel like you’re listening to ‘church music’, so consider buying this album as a Christmas present for your unchurched friends!

Consider buying this album as a Christmas present for your unchurched friends!

The vocals are really easy to listen to and follow, and the choir (of mostly kids!) adds a wonderful, young and happy dynamic.

In a rocky number resembling something I heard in a sweaty Melbourne pub in the ’90s, ‘Jesus vs Santa’ pits the protagonists, not in a battle of Good vs Evil battle but merely a Good vs Best: Jesus = eternal life; Santa = ho ho ho. As an evangelism tool, the typical Aussie family probably wouldn’t be offended by this song.

The album concludes nicely with the surprisingly light and catchy track, ‘Christmas is Merry Because of Jesus,’ featuring a rare bit of acoustic guitar. They borrow the famous line ‘We wish you a merry Christmas’ but put their own gospel spin on it, celebrating ‘the one who came to save us.’

My kids and I adore Colin Buchanan. My wife, however, won’t listen to anything that remotely resembles country music and can’t stand repetitive, kiddy songs. She enjoys “real” music. 

This Christmas I can see the Davidson household enjoying many not-so-silent nights celebrating the Saviour of the world who came to bring us peace and great joy. We’ll be reading and singing the story of the greatest king ever, Jesus Christ, who became a man so that we’d know God and what he’s like. The thing we can’t agree on is where to listen to this Quiz Worx album—the garage, the pub, the back of the ute or the church next door?

If you’re a young family that wants only one Christmas album on the shelf, this is it.

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