Dark Sacred Night

There are two kinds of Christmas music—the chipper, rosy-cheeked gleeful classics that call to mind holiday cheer and celebration, and then the melancholy songs that tap into deep reflection in the dark winter and the realization of yet another year coming to a close. It’ll come as no surprise to David Bazan lovers that, for his Christmas album, he took the latter route. Dark Sacred Night is a collection of Christmas songs Bazan has released over the last 14 years. Each one possesses a somewhat pensive tone, such as “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manger,” as well as his original “Wish My Kids Were Here.” The closest the album comes to the merry classics is “Jingle Bells,” but Bazan manages to keep it fairly somber as well. There’s a distinction that must be made: The album is dark, but by no means depressing. Both kinds of Christmas music can be vehicles for the same thing: catharsis. Be joyful, be sad, let the year go. Bazan’s the right man to guide you.