Many of us listen to Christmas music because it brings us good sentiments about that special time of year for giving, spending time with family, recalling good memories from past Christmases with loved ones as well as those who have left us, and most importantly, the birth of Jesus Christ. Tasha Layton had previously released a Christmas EP last year with the same title, which can make the full-length a little difficult to locate (simply make sure the album you're purchasing has 10 tracks). After releasing her first full-length, non-holiday album just months ago, Tasha also brings her first full-length Christmas release with 4 new tracks.
The first track, "Hang Up Your Stockin'," is a song that was once given treatment by Alvin & The Chipmunks in 1972. It's an upbeat introduction with a 1950s traditional pop flair that is also found in the next song, "Diddly Squat." Next, we have a more present and original song, "Giving Christmas Away." The song stresses how a change in our outlook on Christmas makes all the difference: "Maybe its a simple act of kindness I can show \A spark that helps to warm the heart like long hugs when it snows \ Maybe it's just giving with a heart of grateful love \Knowing even sometimes that a little means so much." "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" might just be one the most overused tunes found on any compilation of Christmas Music as well as many Christmas films, however, it's easy to see why as it's hard to resist as audiophiles can't seem to get enough of it, and this is certainly one of the better renditions.
The title track is a beautiful song which provides a straightforward message that sums up the significance of Christmas: "We have hoped \ We have waited \ Now a star \ Has appeared \ In the night A baby cries \ Our God is here." Tasha presents another original composition, "Comfort and Joy," that stresses how the birth of Jesus will always be the focus of Christmas, as He is the same person who holds and comforts us today. Tasha provides a very distinctive and likeable performance of a John Williams' classic that most fans (including myself) should be pleased with during the holidays, "Somewhere in My Memory," from 1990's Home Alone.
A stream of Christmas albums cascade from multiple contemporary Christian artists yearly. While some artists will go with a timeless classical approach (Michael W. Smith), others will release an album that is defined by their current sound (August Burns Red or any of the Volumes from the Tooth and Nail Happy Christmas series). Then you have artists who will cover the Christmas Classics and put their own spin on the songs while recalling that vintage ambiance which is where this new release seems to demonstrate with Tasha Layton. After listening to many Christmas albums this year (and I have several), I can honestly say that this is a solid effort by Tasha that even contains some new songs that listeners can add to their holiday collection.- Review date: 12/22/22, written by Wayne Myatt of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: BEC Recordings
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