I've said it before, and I'm saying it again. No offense to other great vocal groups of the world, Take 6 is just head-and-shoulders above the rest. I was lucky enough to hear about them when their first album was released in 1988, which has allowed me to follow their career and quickly procure each album as it came out. I also had the great good fortune to see them perform live at the Puyallup Fair in 1994. Despite the down-home atmosphere of the venue and inexplicable poor turnout, their performance was stunning. The harmony was spot-on, their energy was unequalled, and the arrangements were absolutely incredible.
I'm effusing all over the place here, aren't I? Are you getting the idea that I love these guys? Part of the reason for the timing of this rave is that they have a good deal of Christmas music, so they are regularly intermingled as I immerse myself in the shuffle of 1171 holiday songs. Theirs is uplifting, joyful, and reverent music (even when it's not Christmas-specific) which allows me to sing along loudly and badly and still feel accomplished and connected. Thank God for Take 6.