Music Review by Luchae Williams
Contemporary Christian music collective Casting Crowns released their freshly recorded festive album, It’s Finally Christmas, in October 2017. Headed by worship leader, and former youth pastor, Mark Hall, the seven piece ensemble have added their own mix of original songs and Christmas classics to this six-track EP.
Album opener, Gloria/Angels We Have Heard on High is a contemporary retake of the age-old festive song, complete with new verses, a fresh melody and a really great vocal display from Hall.
Casting Crowns followers will find familiarity in the country-tinged ballad, It’s Finally Christmas. The song speaks about all the comforts and joys of Christmas time and invites the listener into an almost nostalgic, sentimental moment.
Another sweet moment on the EP is found in the emotive Somewhere in Your Silent Night. The song is a beautiful composition speaking about the hope and peace that the birth of Christ brings. Halls haunting vocal delivers the powerful message, in the bridge: “Emmanuel will meet you where you are/He knows your hurt /He knows your name /and you’re the very reason that He came.”
Out of all the original tracks, on the album, my favorite has to be the the duet with singer and songwriter, Matt Maher. Called Make Room, the song is a retelling of Jesus’ birth and holds a compelling hook that simply says: “Is there room in your heart/For God to write His story.” I was especially moved by the stunning three-part harmony, by Hall, Maher and Crowns pianist, Megan Garrett.
Christmas classic, What Child is This, is done justice, on the EP, with hauntingly beautiful vocal and simple arrangement. Garrett takes the lead, singing the popular verses of the song, with a new chorus, that declares: “This is Christ the King/Shepherds fall and angels sing!”
Garrett’s voice powerfully, and effortlessly, delivers another festive anthem, O Holy Night. Again, with uncomplicated musical arrangement, and really gorgeous vocal, she totally nails it.
My only problem with It’s Finally Christmas, is that I wish it had more than just six tracks on it. A stunning collection of Christ-filled songs, produced and delivered with excellence — this was a great listen!