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Tradition With a Twist
Posted November 19, 2014
By MarkRyan_NRT, Staff Reviewer

When it comes to Christmas music, Christian artists are usually not the first place I look. I enjoy the classics as sung by Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and the smooth baritone of Bing Crosby. So when I listened to the new offering from Kim Walker-Smith of Jesus Culture, When Christmas Comes, I was very pleasantly surprised.

Walker-Smith offers a combination of classic Christmas carols such as "Silent Night," "The First Noel" and "O Holy Night" along with what I would deem Christmas favorites like "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "White Christmas."

An interesting addition to a Christmas collection is the Franny Crosby hymn, "Tell Me The Story Of Jesus." The song is tender and worshipful, and Walker-Smith clearly delivers the gospel up front in the album, speaking of the birth, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus right from the start. It is not a hymn I hear very often, but it is perfectly placed as the introduction to this collection of songs.

The only miss for me on this album was "Carol of the Bells." Call me a "Carol of the Bells" snob if you want, but after hearing The Trans-Siberian Orchestra version and David Foster's arrangement, I just feel it is a song that should be treated with a large orchestral sound.

Closing Thoughts:
My favorite part of Christmas is the traditions associated with it. Yes, new traditions can be created, however, overplayed "new" Christmas songs at the expense of classics are the bane of my holiday season, and I always go back to my favorites. This album will be added to the rotation of favorites this year. Kim Walker-Smith treats the classic carols and traditional songs with care, adding just the right amount of her own flavor to the songs to make them quite worshipful.

Song to Download Now:
"O Holy Night" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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