Reviewed by Tony Cummings
It was highly predictable that this, Matt's first Christmas album, should soar to number one in the UK's Official Christian & Gospel Chart but considering how many Christian artists have creatively sleepwalked through Christmas album recording sessions down the years, far less predictable that it would be any good. In fact, 'These Christmas Lights' is excellent. For a start, he and American producer Bernie Herms have avoided the clichés of the genre, no lush production schmaltz, no over reliance on traditional carols (and even when fragments of "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" and "O Come All Ye Faithful" are used they are segued with original songs), no wallows in family Christmas sentimentality and definitely no hint of Santa. The album is a project which succeeds in not only reflecting on that history-changing day in Bethlehem but does so with worshipful reverence. Take for instance the opening title track ("We hold a flame in our hearts now/Say a prayer that in this world/All these lights, these Christmas lights/Will shine for you, and you alone"). The duet with Chris Tomlin, "Angels (Singing Gloria)" is equally strong which after reminding us of what that celestial choir were singing in the sky over that humble stable reflects on its significance ("In the name of love/God is with us now/Mercy coming close/Majesty touched down"). The other special guest tracks are equally strong. You wouldn't have convinced me that gospel powerhouse Tasha Cobbs would make an appropriate singing partner to white boy Redman's gentle voice but her soulful tones give liftoff to "To You In The Highest (O Come Let Us Adore)" while the best track of all, the hauntingly effective "Help From Heaven", shows just how sorely Natasha Bedingfield has been missed from the worship arena since she last recorded with Hillsong London. Matt's composing collaborations with Jonas Myrin, Nick Herbert, Sam Bailey and Jason Upton have all produced very strong songs and creatively delivered here make for a Christmas music gem.
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|The brand new Christmas recording from Matt Redman.|
As the writer of many of the most popular worship songs like “10,000 Reasons”, Blessed Be Your Name, The Heart Of Worship, and Once Again, Matt Redmans songs are sung by millions of people every Sunday.
Matt has a unique ability to craft songs that teach deep spiritual truths and remind us of Gods steadfastness.
Matt has been involved in leading at the Passion Conferences for years, most recently at the Passion conferences in Atlanta and Houston (see Even So Come) with over 30,000 university students.
Along with Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels and Kristian Stanfill, Matt was one of the founding members of Passion City Church in Atlanta.
1. These Christmas Lights
2. His Name Shall Be
3. O Little Town (The Glory Of Christmas)
4. Angels (Singing Gloria) Feat. Chris Tomlin
5. Help From Heaven Feat. Natasha Bedingfield
6. Hearts Waiting (Joy To The World)
7. Glory To You In The Highest (O Come Let Us Adore) Feat. Tasha Cobbs
8. How Far
9. Glory Hallelujah
10. The Name Of Emmanuel
11. Holy Night