Christmas is coming. Do you believe? Would you like to?
This once-sacred holiday has become, for many, a dichotomy of spiritual and secular, of religion and retail, of classic and corny, and of Jesus and junk mail. Here’s a Christmas album that attempts to make sense of it all in a simple and refreshing way.
Released by Curb Records on October 25, 2005, Believe, by Christian recording artist Natalie Grant, contains ten tracks, offering a variety of traditional Christmas carols and secular seasonal favorites. Just three songs are new.
The playlist runs like this:
“O Come All Ye Faithful”
“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”
“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”
“O Little Town of Bethlehem”
“Joy to the World”
“What Christmas Means to Me”
“Silver Bells”/”Savior Came For Me”/”O Holy Night” Medley
“One Child”/”O Come All Ye Faithful” (Reprise)
“Sweet Little Jesus Boy”
What popular Christian artist and Dove Award winner Natalie Grant may lack in originality on her first Christmas offering, she more than makes up for in pure musical talent. Her clear-as-crystal vocals and infectious enthusiasm make this CD a grand way to spend 45 minutes during the Christmas season.
Even the predictable favorite songs are well executed, as Grant adds her passion and vocal power to each number.
“O Come All Ye Faithful,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Joy to the World” retain their classic hymn flavor. The big-band sound of “Let It Snow” and the humorous, childlike “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” add to the Yuletide fun of this album.
A new song, “What Christmas Means to Me,” is zesty and fun. This is a catchy, modern-sounding tune with a kicky beat.
One of the finest features of this album is a bit of a surprise. The nine-minute medley of “Silver Bells,” “Savior Came for Me” (an original) and “O Holy Night” crisply integrate Grant’s personal faith with both the secular Christmas celebration and a traditional sacred carol.
“I Believe,” one of the original tunes on the disk, is perhaps the prettiest Christmas song I have ever heard. This simple rendition, with its straightforward message, sounds hauntingly sweet and almost sacred.
The final number, “Sweet Little Jesus Boy,” boasts a gospel choir.
With the production wizardry of her husband, Bernie Herms, the Dove Award favorite injects her sincerity and peppy personality into each song. Grant offers a heart-warming gospel flair on the spiritual songs and party-happy candid comments on the cute holiday favorites.
Believe offers enough variety to make it an enjoyable and inspiring addition to your holiday CD collection.