Prepare Your Heart for Christmas| Posted November 24, 2018
Shane and Shane (Shane Barnard and Shane Everett) follow 2014’s A Worship Christmas Initiative with this second full-length album of Christmas songs. Last Christmas, they released an EP of five songs titled A Worship Initiative Christmas, Vol. 2. This year, we get an entire album ten song album.
This is my second album from Shane and Shane after seeing them perform at the Sing! Conference early this year. I really enjoyed Hymns Vol. 1 and this new album of worshipful Christmas songs as well.
Below are a few comments about each song on this excellent album: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus – The lyrics of this hymn were written by Charles Wesley. The song opens with beautiful vocals over piano and strings. It then builds gently with guitar, bass and percussion.
Key lyric: By Thine own eternal Spirit Rule in our hearts alone; By Thine all sufficient merit Raise us to Thy glorious throne Joy to the World (Joyful, Joyful) – The lyrics of this hymn were written by Isaac Watts. This version includes a verse from Henry Van Dyke’s hymn “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”. The song features Phil Wickham, who Shane and Shane are on the road with on a short Christmas tour. The song begins quietly with piano, chimes, strings and then builds joyfully with drums, bass and guitar as it goes into a new refrain “We will sing, sing, sing, Joy to the World”, which might remind you a bit of Chris Tomlin. Hark the Herald Angels Sing – The lyrics of this hymn were written by Charles Wesley. The song begins with acoustic guitar and piano and then builds gently with guitar, bass, strings and drums. The song adds a refrain “Glory to the newborn king”.
Key lyric: Born that man no more may die Born to raise the sons of earth Born to give them second birth O Little Town of Bethlehem – The lyrics of this hymn were written by Phillip Brooks. This beautiful rendition begins with acoustic guitar and bass and gently builds with light percussion, backing vocals and some excellent piano.
Key lyric: Where meek souls will receive Him still The dear Christ enters in Breath of Heaven – This song was written by Amy Grant and Chris Eaton. This rendition of the song, made popular by Grant, features Bethany Bernard (formerly known as Bethany Dillon), wife of Shane Barnard. The song opens with piano, then adds light bass, strings and light percussion. The strings and piano stood out on this song, along with an excellent vocal. Face of God – This song was written by Shane and Shane, and features Phil Wickham. It’s the one song on the album that I was not familiar with. The song opens with acoustic guitar and strings, and then builds joyfully at the chorus with full band.
Key lyric: Gloria, I hear the angels singing Gloria, all the heavens are ringing Gloria, the Savior of the world is in her arms She’s staring at the face of God The face of God What Child is This? – This hymn was written by William Chatterton Dix. This song begins with acoustic guitar, and then builds with bass, drum, strings, piano and backing vocals. The song includes a nice newly added refrain.
Key lyric: Come, let us adore You Our hearts with enthrone You
Away in a Manger – This music to this hymn was composed by William J. Kirkpatrick. The author of the lyrics is unknown. The song begins with acoustic guitar and piano. It then builds with bass, percussion and backing vocals. Winter Snow – This song was written by Audrey Assad and features Dinah Wright. I first heard this beautiful song with Assad singing it on Chris Tomlin’s first Christmas album, 2009’s Glory in The Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship. This version opens with piano and acoustic guitar, and then builds with bass, percussion, strings and backing vocals. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear – This hymn was written by Edmund Sears. The song opens with synth, piano and bass and builds after the first verse with backing vocals, drums, acoustic guitar and keys. A refrain is added at the end of the song.
Key lyric: Glory to God Glory in our heart