Amy Grant Christmas Songs & Music
Amy Grant is not
only a Christian artist, she's also a peddlar of pure pop. With a
distinguished career that stretches back to the 70's she has seen
trends come and go and has managed to reinvent herself in the
changing landscape. One thing that doesn't change though is her
love for making Christmas music, a passion that has seen her
release 3 full-length festive recordings, the first of which, 'A
Christmas Album', was made when she was just 22 in 1983. 'A
Christmas Album' is a fine mix of secular and traditional songs, 4
of which Grant wrote herself. Other contributors included popular
Christian artist Michael W. Smith who is a big fan of the season of
the goodwill himself. 'A Christmas Album' is never overwhelming
with delicate arrangements countered with expressions of heavenly
outpourings like on the climatic 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing'.
The album does sound dated in places with songs like 'Emmanuel' and
'Little Town' completely of their time. But for the majority of the
11 tracks Amy Grant proves she can do Christmas without ever
slipping into formulaic. A fine example is her version of Nat King
Cole's 'The Christmas Song' which save for a lonely piano features
Grant's expressive and emotive vocals.
It took a full 9
years for Amy Grant to follow up on her wonderful first Christmas
album and on 1992's 'Home For Christmas' she went back to basics.
'Home For Christmas' has soft homely outlook with Grant sprinkling
traditional classics like 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas'
and 'Winter Wonderland' with a collection of new songs she wrote
for the occasion. Standouts include 'Have Yourself A Merry Little
Christmas' which features lush orchestration with Grant providing
equally grandiose vocals. 'Joy To The World/For Unto Us A Child Is
Born' is equally impressive, as rich of sonic delights as you're
going to get outside of spending time in the music halls of Vienna.
Of the Grant penned tracks the understated 'Emmanuel, God With Us'
is probably the pick of the bunch, sounding as it does effortlessly
economical in its delivery beside the rich arrangements found
elsewhere on the album.
Amy Grant's most
recent Christmas album from 1999 proved that the singer had not
lost her Christmas groove and like its predecessors 'A Christmas To
Remember' was split between new tracks and covers of classic
Christmas songs. This was Grant's third holiday album and again it
scored well on both the Billboard and Christmas charts. The title
track was an ambitious opener that referenced all the things that
make Christmas such a memorable time of the year. It contrasted
well with Grant's take on 'Silent Night' that took the song into an
unexpected otherworldly direction, quite affecting it is too, a
genuine highlight. And the delights kept on coming with 'Mr
Sandman' magically turned into 'Mr Santa' (how come no one else
thought of that?) and the epic Michael W. Smith composition 'Agnus
Dei' which offered an restrained yet ecstatic climax.