Award-winning singer/songwriter LAUREN DAIGLE, will release her first-ever Christmas album titled BEHOLD, on October 21 via Centricity Music. Produced by Paul Mabury and Jason Ingram, the style of the holiday album pays homage to the sounds of Lauren's hometown of New Orleans. Featuring soft jazz renditions of Christmas favorites, BEHOLD includes such classics as "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," "Silent Night," "O Come All Ye Faithful," "What Child Is This," "O Holy Night," and more; in addition to an original composition titled "Light of the World", which was written by Paul Mabury and Jason Ingram. Pre-orders for the album will begin on September 26.
Says Daigle, "As a little girl, New Orleans graphed its culture deep within my veins and I fell in love with the cultural vibrancy and the resonating sound of New Orleans Jazz. The city is my happy place, a place I love more each time I return home. It has been a dream of mine to make a record of this caliber, touching respectfully on the roots of my upbringing and honoring those who paved the way. I hope as you listen to this record you are taken away by the awe and wonder of Christ in this season; and peace fills your home, your spirit and you find rest in the midst of rush. And above all, I hope Jesus is found riding on the sounds and into the hearts of all who come and BEHOLD."
"When you get a chance to combine Christmas, the artistry of Lauren Daigle, and the New Orleans sound, you do it!," says John Mays, VP of Centricity Music A&R. "This recording has ended up being a completely unique and joyful expression of Lauren's music. She's loved the process of making it, and we're excited to get to share it so that families everywhere can have a richer celebration of the season for years to come."
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A New Orleans Christmas| Posted October 21, 2016
Two years ago, Lauren Daigle may have needed an introduction. Now, you'd be hard pressed to find a CCM fan who isn't totally familiar with her music and ministry. Hit singles "How Can It Be," "Trust In You" and "Come Alive (Dry Bones)" have been dominating radio waves, making a huge name for Lauren with her powerhouse vocals and lyrics of redemptive praise. Now heading out on her first headlining tour after taking home the Dove Awards for Songwriter of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year and Artist of the Year, it seems Lauren just can't be stopped and continues to explode with success after beautiful success.
With an ever-growing list of things Lauren has accomplished in this industry in just a short few years, there was at least one thing she hadn't done: a Christmas record. She's checking that off her list with Behold, an album of Christmas classics and carols that pay homage to her New Orleans roots with the sounds and style of the city. "As a little girl, New Orleans graphed its culture deep within my veins, and I fell in love with the cultural vibrancy and the resonating sound of New Orleans Jazz. It has been a dream of mine to make a record of this caliber, touching respectfully on the roots of my upbringing and honoring those who paved the way. I hope as you listen to this record you are taken away by the awe and wonder of Christ in this season and peace fills your home, your spirit and you find rest in the midst of rush," Lauren says of the album.
The jazz vibe Lauren injected into these classics is immediately obvious in album opener "Jingle Bells." The horns and skillful instrumentation alongside Lauren's soulful voice makes for an enjoyable listen and even adds to an already beloved Christmas tune. "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" gives off a ballroom ballad feel with the piano and bass working together. A very New Orleans-styled "What Child Is This" and "White Christmas" shine with Lauren's gifted voice flawlessly carrying the age-old lyrics with effortless grace, much like "The Little Drummer Boy," a highlight on the album because of its musicianship and simple yet engaging vocals.
Written by producers Paul Mabury and Jason Ingram, "Light Of The World (Behold Version)" is the only original composition found on this album. "Glory! The Light of the world is here," the elegant ballad sings out. Classics "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "Silent Night" feature glimpses of the New Orleans jazz while still keeping true to the original aesthetic of the tunes.
I'm always intrigued to hear different artist's take on "O Holy Night," my personal favorite Christmas classic of all time. It's not an easy song to handle vocally, but just as I expected, Lauren absolutely nails it, making this song the standout moment on the record. She sways with the vocal highs and lows exceptionally well, especially in the triumphant last 60 seconds of the track where she tackles that famous note with remarkable ease.
The Bottom Line: Lauren Daigle has the perfect blend of soul and jazz in her powerhouse vocals to tackle these Christmas classics with calm and simplicity. The New Orleans style gives a fresh feel to songs that have been around for years, breathing new life into tracks that we sometimes get numb to the beauty of because we hear them so much this time of year. Her southern roots are well represented in every piece, creating such an enjoyable Christmas album that I'd be tempted to listen to it year-round.
Song To Download Now:
"O Holy Night" (Get it on iTunes here.)