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JFH Indie Review

JFH Indie Music Spotlight Review

Shelly E. Johnson

Shelly E. Johnson
Christmas Is Beautiful

Street Date: October 20, 2017
Style: Christmas



Something about an artist you love singing Christmas songs can make you feel like you are sitting by a fireplace with friends and family. But what about when you hear an unfamiliar voice? Most of us probably aren't eager to jump on a Christmas album from an artist we are not unacquainted with, but Shelly E. Johnson is sure to turn some heads with Christmas Is Beautiful.

Even from one look at the tracklist, you can tell that Christmas Is Beautiful is a good balance of original songs and Christmas classics. Most of the album is based in an anthemic pop/rock with jingling bells that you might expect in a Christmas album from worship artists like Kari Jobe or Darlene Zschech, but there is a healthy amount of variation from this style as well. For example, "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting)" has a fun jazzy vibe, "White Christmas" is completely a cappela, and there is a beautiful piano medley of "O Holy Night" and the hymn "Holy Holy Holy." Small details like adding lyrics to "Joy to the World" or increasing the tempo on "Let It Snow" also help distinguish Christmas Is Beautiful from most other holiday albums. Perhaps the most successful sonic experimentation is the Rend Collective-esque "Noel" whose folksy verses proclaim the birth of the Savior and the hope that brings to us all. While the musical aspect of the album is dynamic and interesting, the centerpiece of Johnson's sound is her voice. She has a pretty tone, and though she is not necessarily a powerhouse vocalist, she displays a nice range. Ironically, she shines brightest singing at a softer tone as displayed on the original song, "Gift of Love."

It's clear that a lot of time and money went into the creation of this album as evidenced by the creative liberties taken, attention to detail, and high level of production. In fact, the album's aim to be perfect might be its only hindrance--that it loses some of the heartwarming touches that could elevate this to a "classic" status. Even so, Christmas is Beautiful deserves consideration as much as the big name artists releasing Christmas music this year.

- Review date: 10/24/17, written by Christopher Smith of Jesusfreakhideout.com


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JFH Indie Spotlight Review . Record Label: None
. Album length: 13 tracks: 49 minutes, 53 seconds
. Street Date: October 20, 2017
. Buy It: iTunes
. Download It: AmazonMP3

  1. Angels We Have Heard on High (Medley) (4:50)
  2. Joy to the World (Christ Alone) (3:40)
  3. Noel (Light of the World) (3:15 )
  4. What a Savior (4:53)
  5. Christmas Is Beautiful (3:08)
  6. Gift of Love (feat. Seth Condrey) (4:55)
  7. O Holy Night (5:28)
  8. Let It Snow (1:53)
  9. White Christmas (2:41)
  10. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting) (4:00)
  11. O Holy Night (Piano Solo) (4:18)
  12. Silent Night (Heaven Draws Close) (4:07)
  13. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (2:45)

 

 

 

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This Friday, October 22, 2021
Jim & Melissa Brady Ever Faithful [Daywind]
Teddy Campbell Band/font> Marry Me - Single [Gee Tree]
Casting Crowns The Power of the Cross - Single [Provident]
Stephen Christian Awaken - Single [BEC]
The Color No Greater Love [DREAM]
Jason Crabb Home for Christmas - EP [Red Street]
Sean Curran 1,000 Names - EP [Capitol CMG]
Hillsong Worship Thatís The Power (feat. Benjamin Hastings) - Single [Capitol CMG/Hillsong]
Idle Threat Driftwood - Single [Tooth & Nail]
Lion of Judah Closer [BEC/Gospel Song]
Lindsay McCaul Come, O Lord (Maranatha) - Single (independent)
The Old Paths Every Story Whispers His Name - Single [Sonlite]
Aaron Shust Every Morning - Single (independent)
Rebecca St. James Kingdom Come (feat. for KING & COUNTRY) - Single [Bethel]
Stephanie Summers Mighty Strong God [Provident]
Cade Thompson Cade Thompson Christmas - EP [Red Street]
Tim Timmons HERE (Live With Friends) [Integrity]
We The Kingdom A Family Christmas EP [Sparrow]
Zach Williams I Donít Want Christmas To End [Provident]
Anne Wilson My Jesus (feat. Crowder) - Single [Capitol CMG]


Next Friday, October 29, 2021
11th Hour Anthem of the Ages [Crossroads]
Gas Street Music This is Jesus - EP [Integrity]
Love & The Outcome Christmas Lights - Single [Curb/Word]
Marc Martel & Leigh Nash Welcome to Our World - Single
MŌRIAH Live from the Quarry - EP [Cathedral]
MŌRIAH Worth (feat. Joel Smallbone) - Single [Cathedral]
NEEDTOBREATHE Into the Mystery (Vinyl) [Centricity/Elektra]
Point of Grace Sing Noel [Curb/Word]
Sarah Reeves Winter Wonderland (feat. Clark Beckham) - Single [Curb/Word]
SongLab In The Greenhouse - EP [DREAM]
Stars Go Dim Home (feat. Hannah Ellis) - Single [Curb/Word]
Various Artists Dream Christmas Vol. 6 [DREAM]
War Of Ages Rhema - EP [Facedown]

For all release dates, click here!
 



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