Music Review by Luchae Williams
Fans of Christian music pioneer Tobymac will be pleased to discover the Gospel hip hop recording artist’s festive album, Light of Christmas.
This collection showcases the singer’s funk-meets-pop style, with songs that, when compared to a few other Christmas albums, are fresh and fun to listen to.
Originally released in 2017, fans will enjoy guest appearances by Jamie Grace, Owl City and Sixpence None the Richer’s lead singer, Leigh Nash, to name a few.
‘Light of Christmas’
Album opener, Bring on the Holidays, is a high energy upbeat track, with hints of synth and a dancehall sound. It may not be your typical praise and worship Christmas jam, but it definitely brings on the “Christmas feels”.
Title track, Light of Christmas, has the same vibe. Featuring the eclectic Owl City, the song has the usual Owl City electronic feel, with a message that talks about being the light. (You may have heard this song on the VeggieTales’ Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas DVD!) Owl City also teams up with TobyMac on the duo’s rendition of The First Noel.
Other notable features on the album include a pop-infused melodic track, called Can’t Wait for Christmas. This one’s special guest, American rock band, Relient K, adds to it a young pop-rock sound that reminds me of lazy days on the beach and sitting around the Christmas tree with my family.
The same feel-good flavour can be found on Christmas This Year, which features Sixpence None the Richer’s lead singer, Leigh Nash. Again, not really a praise and worship track, but definitely a mood-enhancing, atmosphere-setting upbeat song that carries the central message: “Holy Holy holy/God is coming near/Unto us a Saviour born/On a midnight clear.”
I was most excited to hear what Christian music songbird, Jamie Grace, had to bring to the album. With a cover of age-old classic, Mary’s Boy Child, the singer’s grassroots-meets-rodeo flavour is evident in this rendition. I enjoyed this more relaxed, accoustic version.
Tobymac also does a relaxed version of Little Drummer Boy on the album. But the cover that I appreciated the most is the remixed version of Christmas hymn, Come Let Us Adore Him. With an almost reggae vibe, the track is given new life, with a hook that says: “Gonna lift, gonna lift His name on high!” This is one to look out for!
It was rather interesting to find that most of the songs featured on this album had already been released, on other albums, previously. TobyMac fans would still do well to add this one to their collection. If you’re new to TobyMac then this is one I would highly recommend, especially if you’re looking for easy listening during the festive season.
Tobymac and his wife Amanda are mourning the loss of their son Truett, 21, who died a month ago. Tobymac shared an emotional message with his supporters this week on social media, thanking people for their love towards the family in their time of grieving.