A Few of My Favorite Sings

Music has the ability to strike a chord — no pun intended — in every human. It is unique in that there is a groove for every walk of life. We might, and usually do, differ in our likes and dislikes, but the one genre that seems to melt our hearts towards one another is the music of Christmas. With the holidays fast approaching, it’s safe to say we are all getting ready to jingle our music bells to the tunes of the season.

So, who is your favorite artist? What is that one CD that instantly ushers into your home the smell of fresh pine and cinnamon from the first note? I think we can all agree that we tend to lean towards the familiar when it comes to our Christmas picks, but there often seems to be a shortage of new Christmas music, or quite possibly we are unaware of some fresh offerings.

For a fun festive musical experience that lends itself to the ever exciting Chris Rice compositions, try Merry Chris Rice; it’s a great tapestry of Christmas favorites for all you contemporary types. Like every album Rice has ever released, this is no exception to the thrill ride he always takes his listeners on.

Another highly acclaimed project is Amy Grant’s Christmas to Remember a combo of traditional and original songs. This has become a musical staple in our home. It offers a great combination of pop and traditional pieces and she does a killer version of Chris Rice’s “Welcome to Our World.” The title cut is an original written by Grant, Chris Eaton, and Beverly Darnall that really captures family and the traditions of Christmas. The lyrics are breathtaking and sure to move the heart of even the most casual listener. Also, the Patrick Williams Orchestra makes this album soar.

My kids love the Glee Christmas Album and I feel the same way; the vocals are off the charts and the arrangements, top notch. And, surprisingly three of the cuts are traditional. Ho-ho-ho!

I might be dating myself here a bit, but I have to confess that James Taylor’s James Taylor at Christmas is in my top three. It offers the warmth of jazz overtones with the smooth sounds of this legendary guitarist/vocalist. Taylor does a mad groove on “Jingle Bells,” which is rather refreshing in light of the many times we have all endured the traditional version, not that it’s not cute in its own dashing-through-the-snow kind of way. I’m actually listening to it right now.

And, last but not least, you will never go wrong with these standard top five Christmas albums:

1. Bing Crosby, White Christmas

2. Vince Guaraldi, A Charlie Brown Christmas

3. Kenny G, Miracles: TheHoliday Album

4. Ella Fitzgerald, Ella WishesYou a Swingin’ Christmas

5. Nat King Cole, The Christmas Song

Honestly, I could go on and on because, of course, Christmas is our favorite time of year and music is a huge passion for me. This is just my small contribution to a world of suggestions out there. I hope you have fun in your musical perusing…

Merry Christmas and, “Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)

Robin is a singer and published songwriter and currently sings with the praise team at CRPC. Follow her on twitter at @robinmahria or email her at robin3418@gmail.com.

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