Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Matthew West: The Heart of Christmas Review

Matthew has stolen the hearts of his listeners by delivering both poignant, ground-breaking singles as well as hilarious ones that make the listener have a good time. And now here he is with a twelve-track Christmas album titled The Heart of Christmas. Delivering half originals and half traditional carols, Matthew West delivers a Christmas album like only he could give. Featuring several previously released Christmas singles as well as guest vocals from Amy Grant and Mandisa, Matthew West’s The Heart of Christmas album is a Christmas album you will not forget!

Matthew’s humor comes into play immediately with “Come On Christmas,” an upbeat pop track where Matthew sings about how he’s been waiting for Christmas so long he left up his lights all year. He also offers to give Santa Claus his phone number just in case the reindeer get lost! Following comes “Jingle Bells/Deck the Halls,” very bright and alive with saxophones and piano – definitely a fun Christmas track.

Sounding most like Matthew’s popular radio singles comes the title track, a sincere reminder to not miss the “heart” of Christmas during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. “Leaving Heaven” is very touching, a track from the heart of Jesus to those who feel worthless: “If you ever wonder how much you’re worth/ you should know you’re the reason why I’m leaving heaven.” Besides that, it causes the listener to consider the sacrifice Jesus made in trading streets of gold for a dirty manager. Matthew also covers “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and honestly, I can’t think of anyone better to deliver such a well-known beloved track such as this.

The extremely sad and touching “One Last Christmas” tells the story of a young child’s last Christmas, and a whole town lighting up just to make sure it was completely enjoyable. No doubt you’ll shed a few tears listening to this heart-breaking but hopeful tale in Matthew West’s beloved narrative style. A “Silent Night” interlude closes “One Last Christmas” and preps the listener for “part two” of Matthew’s The Heart of Christmas album.

“Give This Christmas Away” with Amy Grant encourages the listener to devote their Christmas to helping those in need (specifically Operation Christmas Child, whom the song was written for), while “Oh Holy Night” is gorgeous Matthew West’s way, but builds excellently at the end, making for a wonderful rendition. Also reappearing on this album is “Christmas Makes Me Cry,” a duet with Mandisa. The melodies and harmonies in this track are unbelievably stunning!

With hand-clapping beats, “Oh Come all You Faithful” makes things fun and upbeat again, also complete with saxophone and “choirs of angels” in the background. :) And very appropriately, “The Day After Christmas” closes The Heart of Christmas on a contemporary note, reminding the listener that even though Christmas may be over, the light of the world shines each day, and we can be merry all year round! This message is certainly great to hear sung on a Christmas album, and it definitely put a great ending to Matthew West’s Christmas album as well.

Matthew West is an excellent songwriter and delivers his music in a very fascinating way. You never get bored listening to his music, and with his new Christmas album, he both covers the classic and delivers wonderful original Christmas songs. This is definitely a must-have for the Christmas season!

Rating: 4/5
Release date: October 4, 2011

Track listing:
1. Come On, Christmas
2. Jingle Bells
3. The Heart of Christmas
4. Leaving Heaven
5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
6. One Last Night
7. Silent Night (interlude)
8. Give This Christmas Away (feat. Amy Grant)
9. Oh Holy Night
10. Christmas Makes Me Cry (feat. Mandisa)
11. O Come All Ye Faithful
12. Day After Christmas

1 comment:

  1. Good album review for the new Matthew West Christmas album. I am looking forward to getting his album from him as soon as I can.


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