Music Review by Luchae Williams
With two Grammy nods and numerous Dove awards to his name, one can only expect brilliance when you pick up a Matt Redman album.
And with this, his very first festive-inspired album, you find just that. Released in 2016,
These Christmas Lights is jam-packed with Redman originals and a hodge-podge of traditional anthems cut and pasted to fit the songwriter’s idea of what worship, during the Advent season, should sound like.
Album opener, and title track, These Christmas Lights, lets slip that you will not be finding your average, festive, sing along songs here! The track speaks about the opening of eyes and hearts, to the wondrous, miraculous birth of a SavioUr. I particularly loved the lyric that says: “Say a prayer that in this world/all these lights, these Christmas lights/Will shine for you/And you alone.” This message, clearly, is Redman’s heart song through out the entire album and is a fitting opener.
You’ll find similar themes in anthemic songs such as His Name Shall Be and Glory Hallelujah. The latter has a driving drum beat, and an almost chant-like chorus that simply says “Glory Hallelujah/Sing the praises of our God!”
I enjoyed the three duet’s featuring Chris Tomlin, Natasha Bedingfield and vocal powerhouse Tasha Cobbs, respectively.
Prolific singer and songwriter, Tomlin’s offering, called Angels (Singing Gloria) is a more mod version of the age-old hymn, Gloria in Excelsis Deo.
Pop star Bedingfield brings her own vocal prowess and songwriting skill to the original track, Help From Heaven. The song is a contemporary, soul-filled ballad, speaking about Jesus, our “help from heaven”.
As always, Tasha Cobbs brings the thunder with her big voice in worship song, Glory To You In The Highest. The track speaks about Jesus bridging the great divide, and builds into a magnetic bridge that sees the duo belting out the age old chorus “O come let us adore him!”
If you’re a fan of the popular Christmas classics, you’ll be pleased to hear familiar melodies on tracks such as O Little Town (The Glory of Christmas) and everyone’s favorite festive anthem, Joy to the World, featured on Redman’s offering Hearts Waiting (Joy to the World).
If you’re looking for a Christmas album that is more worship and less “jingle bells”, then this is for you. This album paints a picture of the sacrifice and miracle of Christ’s birth and draws listeners into a moment of selfless worship.
As one can expect, the songwriting is on point, and Matt Redman’s production team brings their A-game, as always. Definitely a must-have for the ardent Christmas music collector and worship lover.