A Cozy Christmastime
Posted November 05, 2016
By SarahBassett_NRT, Staff Reviewer
It's been quite a year for Jody McBrayer. Between releasing his new solo project Keep Breathing in February and debuting, recording and touring with southern gospel trio Cana's Voice, you would think McBrayer had triumphantly checked off all his goals for 2016. Lucky for us, he was also working on Christmastime, which released October 21.
McBrayer starts by inviting his audience to imagine a picture perfect world on "Imagine This Christmas:" "Imagine this Christmas a world without hurting, a world without hunger, a world without fear / Imagine this Christmas we all gave each other love and respect and good cheer / Well maybe this year."
Listeners will enjoy jazz undertones in several songs ("O Come All Ye Faithful," "Christmastime Is Here"), hear traditional and popular old favorites ("What Child is This," George Michael's "This Christmas") and experience rich culture (16th century French Carol "Bring A Torch, Janette, Isabella" and the reverent "Ave Maria/O Holy Night"). Following up their haunting ballad collaboration on "If Someone Like You" from earlier this year, a cappella group Voctave joins McBrayer a second time this year by providing the arrangement for "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
Perhaps the most special track is "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep/Silent Night." McBrayer's daughter Sarah-Clayton lends her innocent voice to start Irving Berlin's classic, then McBrayer sweetly and gently brings it to its fruition and tags it with "Silent Night."
The Bottom Line: If you want a soundtrack while you get a blanket, sit on the couch and drink hot cocoa, this is the perfect album. Jody McBrayer is a true gift. Sometimes the only response is just to give thanks--and to go buy the album.
Song to Download Now:
"Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep/Silent Night" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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