A Christmas album consisting of thirteen classic songs sung by Kevin Max. Need I really say more?
While it's tempting to leave the review at that, it would do the artist and the listener a disservice
to not elaborate further. Kevin Max, now a veteran in the Christian music industry, has been wowing audiences
with his impressive vocal talents since his days in the much acclaimed trio, DC Talk. Upon venturing
out on his own a few years ago, Kevin has brought something unique and deep to music. His vocals can rip into
your soul through a piercing scream or lull you into a pensive state. His latest release, The Imposter,
hit shelves just over a month ago, offering a collection of some of Kevin's best work to date. But with the Christmas
season swiftly approaching, Max has crafted together what will most likely be the most timeless project
of his career... a Christmas album.
Holy Night pulls its most potent moments through its beautiful simplicities. You won't find
an original tune amongst the album's thirteen selections and this might be one of the most enduring aspects
of the record. Those who love the Christmas season and especially the classic music that comes along with it
will find Holy Night familiar and inviting. Max breathes new life into these traditional songs, adding
his personal touches just enough to freshen up the tracks while leaving an undeniable "Christmas feeling"
to them. Most of the songs are held back and restrained, carried along by a classy, serenading piano ("God Rest Ye
Merry Gentlemen") or just a glimmer of synths ("The First Noel"). Holy Night is all the while a sensitive
and delicate project. Max presents "Silent Night" as a lullaby while offering what might be the most
somber and contemplative version of "Joy To The World" you'll ever hear.
Holy Night is one of the lovelier Christmas projects you'll hear this holiday season.
If you're sick of classic Christmas tunes that have been overplayed to seemingly no end,
you still might find Max's take on them refreshing. But no matter how you feel about these classics,
Holy Night is a stripped-down, personal, and purely delightful Christmas album. If there's anyone
to spend Christmas with this December, it's undoubtedly Kevin Max.
- Review date: 11/30/05, written by John DiBiase