Jon & Valerie Guerra's "It's Almost Christmas" throws a hat in the ring of old-meets-new, sentimental Christmas tunes with four heartwarming originals and eight standards, all recorded in the living room of that same one-bedroom Chicago apartment. They welcome you into their home, will most certainly give you a song sheet to sing along and a sleigh bell to chime, and wish you a merry, merry Christmas!
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Old Meets the New in Christmas Style| Posted November 16, 2015
Bring on the snow and hot chocolate! Curl up by the fireplace and hit play on It's Almost Christmas by Jon and Valerie Guerra. It's folky, classic and a great addition to any Christmas album collection. Unlike many albums this time of year, It's Almost Christmas is the perfect blend of original and classic songs. Jon and Valerie's voices are also a perfect blend. They complement one another very well, and that is part of what make their new album such a hit.
One of the most notable tracks on It's Almost Christmas is "The Way You Look Tonight." Originally performed by the amazing Fred Astaire in the movie Swing Time in the 1930s and covered by many artists since, Jon and Valerie put an original spin on the classic hit. Combined with "I'll Be Home for Christmas," a Bing Crosby hit from the 1940s, "The Way You Look Tonight" paints a touching picture of Christmas hope. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" was written to honor soldiers overseas during the Christmas season, and when meshed seamlessly with "The Way You Look Tonight," it becomes a Christmas theme song for military families around the world. The song could easily be from the perspective of a deployed soldier and their spouse as they think of one another during the holiday. Fred and Bing would be very proud.
One interesting choice for the album is "Edelweiss," from Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music. It's not a usual choice for Christmas albums, but Jon and Valerie's voices work well with the song, and it fits into the overall folk feel found on It's Almost Christmas.
"Lord Remind Me" powerfully closes out the album by asking God to help us all remember the story of Jesus' birth. Be sure to have a tissue or two handy-- you may need them, especially during the bridge. Stop and really listen to the lyrics. The words "tell me how He loves me, tell me how He wants me..." build into a duet accompanied by piano and strings that moves you to the core: "Glory in the highest, Glory in the lowest, Glory that shines when nothing seems to shine at all." Cue the tears.
The Bottom Line:
After listening to this album, I wish I had a fireplace. It's Almost Christmas is bound to get you in the Christmas spirit and make you wish you had a fireplace too. Jon & Valerie did a bang-up job bringing the Christmas spirit to listeners.
Song to Download Now:
"The Way You Look Tonight" and "Lord Remind Me" (Get them on iTunes here.)