Listen to the album by Chris Raww!
Listen to the new album by Chris Raww!

JFH Music Review


Zach Williams, I Don't Want Christmas To End
CLICK COVER TO ENLARGE

Zach Williams
I Don't Want Christmas To End



Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Christmas / Jazz / Soul
Album length: 10 tracks: 37 minutes, 6 seconds
Street Date: October 22, 2021


READER RATING:   


It can be all too easy to get a bit jaded about a new Christmas album. It seems as if there are only about fifty or so songs (both sacred and secular) that bounce around the music row assembly line when making a Christmas album, and every artist that releases one seems contractually obligated to pick from this list and release a warmed-over version of those tunes. So, when a truly original Christmas album appears on the scene (think Andrew Peterson's Behold The Lamb Of God or Josh Garrels' A Light Came Down), it is a cause for rejoicing.

Zach Williams' I Don't Want Christmas To End does not have the creative flair of those two aforementioned albums, but it does have an authentic "soul music" atmosphere that feels right out of 1968, sort of like a time capsule of a record. And this production choice makes the album a winner right out of the gate.

As the album opens, the familiar and beloved melancholy piano notes of "Christmastime Is Here" (made famous in A Charlie Brown Christmas) slowly roll into a funky drum cadence and a jazzy instrumental backdrop that turns the tune into something more uplifting and soulful than previously heard. Zach Williams' fantastic, gruff baritone sells the song as something almost unexpectedly new and snazzy. Second track "Merry Christmas Baby" continues the Motown party atmosphere with a groovy saxophone line and some wonderful backup singers adding to the mix. And then third track, the traditionally staid and solemn "Mary Did You Know," is likewise given a slinky, funk backdrop with a great horn accompaniment and wailing solo guitar with a moody, atmospheric electric piano. This musical transformation is difficult to describe in words and must be heard to be truly appreciated.

Williams also reimagines old-school classics like "White Christmas" and "Go Tell It On The Mountain" as swampy Creedence Clearwater Revival numbers, complete with wailing harmonicas, pounding bar-room piano and feisty backup singers. Even "Silent Night" works in this proto-southern rock setting, with its Gospel music, slow-burn treatment and rolling electric guitar solo. Other songs, like Chuck Berry's "Run Run Rudolph" and the barn-burner title track complete the party atmosphere and end the album in a wonderful, Ray Charles-like fashion. If there was a drawback here (and this is really reaching for one), a few more original numbers would have made this album a stone cold classic.

But a Christmas party album that would sound just as good on the record player or jukebox is an unexpected delight, and Williams shows both a deep love and a command of this particular kind of soul music. This is one to turn up loud and clear the kitchen floor for dancing and celebrating the best time of the year.

- Review date: 11/26/21, written by Alex Caldwell of Jesusfreakhideout.com


Listen to the New Christmas Single by We Are Vessel!

 

. Record Label: Provident / Sony
. Album length: 10 tracks: 37 minutes, 6 seconds
. Street Date: October 22, 2021
. Buy It: Apple Music
. Buy It: Amazon.com (CD)
. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. Christmas Time Is Here (4:17)
  2. Merry Christmas Baby (3:30)
  3. Mary, Did You Know? (3:10)
  4. White Christmas (3:07)
  5. Go Tell It on the Mountain (3:40)
  6. That Spirit of Christmas (4:58)
  7. Silent Night (4:39)
  8. This Christmas (3:05)
  9. Run Run Rudolph (2:47)
  10. I Don't Want Christmas to End (3:49)

 

 JFH Album Sample Player

 



Leave a Comment

comments powered by Disqus

 

 

go to main Album review page
go to Album review archive

 


(JFH Sponsor Spot)

 

 

           
Listen to the New Christmas Single by We Are Vessel!

Search JFH




This Sunday, January 16, 2022
116 We Are Unashamed - Single [Reach]


This Monday, January 17, 2022
KJ-52 x Jonah Take Me Back - Single (independent)


This Friday, January 21, 2022
Meredith Andrews Make Room - Single [Word Worship]
Paul Baloche A Greater Song (15th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) [Integrity]
Amanda Danziger Vindicate - Single (independent)
Ricky Dillard Breakthrough: The Exodus (Live) [Capitol CMG]
Elevation Worship Same God - Single [Elevation]
Impending Doom Hellbent EP [eOne]
NEEDTOBREATHE I Am Yours (Acoustic) - Single [Elektra]
North Point Worship Deliverer - Single [Centricity]
Selah So Beautiful (Sungguh Indah) [Indonesian single] [Integrity]
The Talleys Give Me Jesus - Single [Crossroads]
UNITED On Repeat - Single [Capitol CMG]


Next Thursday, January 27, 2022
Rusty Shipp Bottom of the Barrel - Single (independent)


Next Friday, January 28, 2022
Justin Gambino Courage - Single (independent)
Shane & Shane Worship in the Word [WellHouse]
Seventh Day Slumber Death by Admiration [RockFest]
Sunday Drive Grace & Goodness - Single [StowTown]

For all release dates, click here!
 



Check out the debut album from Caitelen!




Listen to the new album from Cherry Hills Worship!