STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 102499-17648 LABEL: Metro One 074948830302 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2010-12-06 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Brendan O'Regan
This is getting to be a very crowded market. So many mainstream and Christian performers have produced Christmas CDs that it's getting harder to stand out from the crowd. My ideal Christmas album mixes standards treated imaginatively but respectfully, with original material that conveys refreshing and contemporary perspectives on this key season for Christians. Despite Crystal's long-time reputation as a major CCM talent, this collection just didn't do it for me. Most of the songs are Christmas standards ("O Come O Come Emmanuel", "White Christmas", "Mary Did You Know", "Sleigh Ride") and while Lewis performs them reasonably well, and the album is fine on a technical level, she and the arranger don't do anything distinctive enough with them, and they suffer by comparison with so many other versions. Having said that, I really did like "Let It Be To Me", a song by Michael and Stormie Omartian that looks at the Christmas events from the point of view of Mary, mother of Jesus while the traditional "Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella" shows Lewis' acappella talents and is an unusual and catchy piece. It's a pity then that the other tracks aren't up to this standard.
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Home for the holidays is a collection of 10 classic Christmas songs performed in a way that only the Dove award winner Crystal Lewis could deliver.