Joy To The World is the first Christmas collection from celebrated worship leader Lincoln Brewster. It was produced by Brewster and Colby Wedgeworth.
Highlights of the recording include "Little Drummer Boy," the project's debut radio single, featuring a guest appearance by KJ-52; "Shout For Joy," penned by Brewster, Paul Baloche, and Jason Ingram; and "Our God," the worship favorite written by Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, and Jonas Myrin, which Brewster incorporated into Christmas services at his home church in Sacramento. In addition, Joy To The World includes new arrangements of such classic carols as "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and "O Holy Night (Another Hallelujah)," among other selections.
"Sometimes Christmas music can slip by as festive, and what we're singing about can be marginalized, so with Joy To The World, I wanted to try -- as often as possible -- to make the music sound like what the lyrics were saying," said Brewster. "We set out to do arrangements that hadn't been done before, a record with a modern edge, capturing a new take. Being a worship pastor, it's challenging to keep things fresh, but I think we got there. I'm really happy with the style and sound of each of these songs."
The project's musical centerpiece is "Miraculum," a three-movement instrumental incorporating "Carol Of The Bells," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "We Three Kings," "O Come O Come Emmanuel," and "O Holy Night."
"I have only recorded a few instrumental pieces in my career, but it's one of the things I really love being able to do," said Brewster. "I hope that 'Miraculum' will provide a musical setting that churches can grab onto and use in their own services during the holidays."
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Get in the Christmas Spirit!| Posted October 14, 2012
Acclaimed worship leader, songwriter and talented guitarist Lincoln Brewster releases his first (and highly anticipated) Christmas album, Joy To The World. Featuring seasonal favorites as well as three original tracks, Brewster's unmistakable worship with a rock flare permeates each song.
"Sometimes Christmas music can slip by as festive, and what we're singing about can be marginalized," Brewster said, "so with Joy To The World, I wanted to try-as often as possible-to make the music sound like what the lyrics were saying."
Starting off the album with title track, "Joy To The World," Brewster stays true to the original melody and energy of the well-known Christmas anthem, but incorporates his own twist musically. With Brewster's unmistakable guitar solos, the occasional orchestral strings, and a tone of pure celebration, this first track is a perfect introduction to what's to come.
"Little Drummer Boy" is the first debut single off the album and features KJ-52's rapping talents. With an evident rock/pop vibe and drums taking a prominent spot, this track is much more upbeat than the original. While this particular track doesn't stick as close to the carol we're all used to singing, it definitely adds more of a hopefulness, which in essence is what the lyrics are actually promoting.
Written by Brewster and songwriting heavyweights Paul Baloche and Jason Ingram, "Shout For Joy" quietly begins with strings, ringing bells, and a choir. The energy quickly builds with drums and electric guitars as Brewster sings the chorus, "Shout for joy / For the Son of God / Is the saving One / He's the saving One / Shout for joy / See what love has done / He has come for us / He's the saving One." This could easily be sung during a worship or special service as congregations prepare their hearts for celebrating the Christmas season. After only listening to this track a couple times, I find myself already singing along.
The only instrumental track on the album, "Miraculum," incorporates several well-known Christmas favorites into a 6:20 minute arrangement. Very reminiscent of something you might hear from Mannheim Steamroller or Tran Siberian Orchestra, this track is one of my favorites on the entire record.
Lincoln Brewster's debut Christmas album, Joy To The World, is a great addition to the variety of seasonal projects already out there. Whether you're a fan of classic Christmas carols or enjoy hearing someone else's interpretation of your favorites, the message of each song remains front and center. With a celebratory tone and Brewster's unmistakable rock flare, this album is a must-have for anyone looking for a worthy addition to their Christmas collection.
Lincoln Brewster is known for being one of the most musically skilled figures in the worship genre. His ability with a wide range of instruments has equipped him to create rich, layered songs grounded in his faith.
Taking on classic Christmas songs and seeking to create something fresh enough to hold an audience's interest is no easy task, but it's one that Brewster tackled armed with enough skill and experience to infuse new life into well-tread tracks.
Joy to the World kicks off with its title track, an infectiously upbeat rendition of the Christmas classic. "Little Drummer Boy" follows, and although the track is certainly centered around a driving rhythm (enhanced by a rap interlude provided by KJ-52), it manages to do so without feeling overly contrived. Despite the title, the track branches out to lean on an instrumentation scope much wider than just percussion.
"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" is another incredibly joyful track. Although elements like sleigh bells are present, Lincoln Brewster doesn't use Christmas conventions as a crutch, allowing his skill on a wide variety of other instruments to shine as well in the arrangements. "Shout For Joy" carries a more traditional worship sound, employing a sweeping sonic landscape richly detailed with shimmering lyrics.
Although some would find Chris Tomlin's monster hit "Our God" to be an unusual addition to a Christmas collection, Brewster makes the cut fit well with overall theme of unrestrained joy. He even throws a bit of the Christmas classic "O Come All Ye Faithful" into the mix to draw it in line with the rest of the album.
"Miraculum" is an instrumental selection that easily holds its own with the vocal tracks. Here Lincoln Brewster's ability to give an electric guitar a passionate, almost reverent voice shines, his work on the guitar strings binding together the other elements for a hauntingly beautiful whole. The breathtaking guitar work voices the melody of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," backed by intense instrumental layers worthy of Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
His rendition of "Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel" follows the same musical tone, though more restrained and leaning more heavily on steady percussion. The haunting song voices the cry of a broken people awaiting their Redeemer. "Do You Hear What I Hear" re-introduces the unashamed celebratory theme of the earlier tracks.
"O Holy Night (Another Hallelujah)" is a slower paced song, which is well suited to the melody. Lincoln Brewster does a solid job adapting the almost operatic style of the tune to the adult contemporary format. His addition of a piece of Leonard Cohen's famous "Hallelujah" is achieved with enough subtlety to work. The collection ends on a gentle note with "Silent Night." The guitar work here is understated, almost jazz-inspired, beneath the soft vocals
As the holiday season approaches, this is one album well worth picking up to set the tone. Although the album draws wholly on already established songs, it does so with a lack of pretension and an enthusiastic tone which sinks into each selection. Brewster's musical skill with both his guitar and his voice is nearly unparalleled, and his thoughtful blend of celebration and reverence make this record well worth many spins throughout the winter months.
Little Guitar Boy| Posted December 10, 2012
This album is really something that you would never expect no matter how you prep yourself for the sound. Incredible album with such a display of guitar skills and carefully engineered. All rock heads as well as sound nerds will love this Christmas album which is totally different from all other albums that are out today. His rendition of songs like Lilttle Drummer Boy (which i like to call Little Guitar Boy), Silent Night, Our God, Shout For Joy and really impressive and loveable.
An amazing Christmas record.
A Wonderful Christmas Album| Posted December 04, 2012
I'm a huge fan of lincoln Brewster so I knew this album was going to be good from the get go and I was not dissapointed. His skill with the guitar and creative ability to create awesome sounds and arrangements are all over this album. It even includes some instrumental songs to show off his skill. If you haven't gotten the album, I would highly reccomend adding it to your Christmas collection
Crazy Good!| Posted December 04, 2012
Lincoln is amazing! His style of worship is perfect for a Christmas album. Upbeat and creative. I'll be listening to this album as often as possible. His skill on the guitar is pretty sweet to listen to. Lincoln's Christmas album is a must have!