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JFH Staff Review


Lauren Daigle, Behold: A Christmas Collection
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Lauren Daigle
Behold: A Christmas Collection



Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Christmas
Album length: 10 tracks: 39 minutes, 35 seconds
Street Date: October 21, 2016


READER RATING:   


It's October, which means pumpkin spiced everything, apple picking, and for the music industry... Christmas music. While most of as are still in full fall mode, Lauren Daigle is putting out one of several new Christmas albums to be released on October 21st (others include Amy Grant, Matthew West, Matt Redman).

Behold: A Christmas Collection offers a nice selection of familiar Christmas songs: four Christmas carols, five famous Christmas songs, and a new rendition of her original song, "Light of the World." The album opens with a two-minute version of what is arguably the most well-known Christmas song in the world (which is somewhat ironic because it wasn't originally written as a Christmas song): "Jingle Bells." It immediately sets the jazzy, traditional tone of the record. The whole album actually pays homage to Lauren's roots with a "New Orleans Jazz" style, which is characterized by a bluesy electric guitar, saxaphone, light drums, piano, and a clarinet (among other instruments), all of which are intricately woven into a pleasant and fireside sound. While the musical aspect of the album is surprisingly good, it's Lauren's soulful and enchanting vocals that are the centerpiece of this album. For the most part, she matches the casual vibe of the music, but there are a few moments where she belts out, such as in the climaxes of "Oh Holy Night" and "Oh Come All Ye Faithful." One of the album's strongest tracks is the carol "What Child Is This." This version is a little more funky and soulful than the traditionally haunting melody (especially if you compare it to Project 86's rendition), but still maintains the sense of reverence you'd expect for a carol about the shepherds visiting baby Jesus in the manager. Lauren's harmonies in the chorus give this song a classic vibe that shows up throughout the album.

With Behold, Lauren and her team have done a fantastic job with these ten tracks, making a Christmas album perfect for a holiday party, tree decorating, or reflecting on the birth of Jesus.

- Review date: 10/20/16, written by Christopher Smith of Jesusfreakhideout.com


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JFH Staff's Second Opinion




    Last year, Lauren Daigle released a powerful debut album that found its way into my Top 10 albums of 2015. Daigle returns in 2016 with her first Christmas record, Behold: A Christmas Collection. Musically, the collection is sort of neo-traditional in nature. The album goes for a jazzy, Frank Sinatra-era type vibe and sound, but a lot of the time it feels they are trying to capture "that sound" instead of just letting it come organically and naturally. Daigle's voice is beautiful, but this subdued style only subdues her strong and powerful voice -- another drawback to the sound. I wouldn't call it hackneyed, or unimaginative, by any means, but it would have been nice to see Daigle pull out a big sounding Christmas album that plays off her strengths as a vocalist. Overall, Behold is a fun listen and there are plenty of Christmas favorites. Nothing on the track listing stands out as a favorite version, but they are all enjoyable. The most interesting song may be the updated version of Daigle's own "Light of the World," while the strangest addition is undoubtedly the very drum-less version of "Little Drummer Boy." Behold: A Christmas Collection probably won't end up as your favorite Christmas album, but it should help to spread the Christmas spirit this season and for years to come. It's certainly a worthwhile addition for any Christmas music fanatic. - Review date: 12/7/16, written by Michael Weaver

 

. Record Label: Centricity Music
. Album length: 10 tracks: 39 minutes, 35 seconds
. Street Date: October 21, 2016
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: Amazon
. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. Jingle Bells (1:49)
  2. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (4:27)
  3. What Child Is This (3:15)
  4. White Christmas (3:47)
  5. O Come All Ye Faithful (4:26)
  6. Light of the World (Behold Version) (4:40)
  7. Christmas Time Is Here (3:49)
  8. O Holy Night (4:52)
  9. Little Drummer Boy (3:50)
  10. Silent Night (4:38)

 



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