Music review by Luchae Williams
Dove award winner and Christian music darling, Lauren Daigle, lends her smoky vocals to a rather whimsical Christmas album titled Behold. Released in October 2016, the songbird’s festive offering is a collection of classic covers, produced by CCMA legends Paul Mabury and Jason Ingram.
At first glance, the track list appears to be your run-of-the-mill selection of familiar Christmas anthems, complete with Jingle Bells, Oh Holy Night and the ever popular Silent Night. But, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is anything but ordinary. Daigle’s husky voice is perfectly complemented with an array of jazzy and bluesy sounds that makes this a holiday album to look out for!
Album opener, Jingle Bells, has a fresh New Orleans flavor. The age old classic is given new life with brass horns, jivey piano accompaniment and a rockin’ bass line.
The same can be said for her rendition of Little Drummer Boy. Again, paying homage to Daigle’s New Orleans roots, the song steers clear of the expected marching drum, and instead, is acoustic guita- led. The track has no definitive build up, and rather breaks into a melodious, almost bluesy bridge, made sweet by Daigle’s amazing vocal.
The songstress lends her voice to other famous Christmas classics, such as Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, White Christmas and Christmas Time Is Here. Her sophisticated and almost sultry-jazzy take on these, gives them new life.
My favourite picks are the selection of Christmas carols which she covers. O Come All Ye Faithful creates an almost nostalgic atmosphere, accompanied by horns and rich vocals. Oh Holy Night is also kept as is, made potent by Daigle’s powerhouse vocals. Album closer, Silent Night, is a bluesy, piano-driven affair, perfect for easy listening on a Christmas morning.
The addition of the her original song, Light Of The World, is the cherry on the cake in my opinion. One is immediately reminded of the true meaning of Christmas – a celebration of the birth of the Messiah – as she sings: “Glory/The light of the world/Is here!” I enjoyed this track.
If you’re looking for an easy listen, over the festive period, I highly recommend Lauren Daigle’s Christmas offering. The album is excellently produced and Daigle does not fail to deliver.