Joy to the World Bottom Line:This is the first Christmas album from Faith Hill, and it was two years in the making. With such intricate productions for the orchestra and everything that goes along with it, you wonder just how they got it done in what seems to be a long period of time. It is a great collection of classic Christmas songs with a single new one thrown in as a bonus.
A Classic Christmas CollectionSince I'm not one to listen to Christmas music on repeat for months on end, when I do listen to it, I would rather it have a classic or timeless production. Cute and catchy songs can be fun, but only every once in awhile. The spirit of the season isn't captured as well unless given the right amount of respect to certain lyrics. When I heard Faith Hill was going to release a Christmas album I really hoped it would have a classic sound and that's exactly what you get with Joy To The World. Already a fan of a big band sound, this is right up my alley.
Faith Hill has been working on this album for two years and it shows in every aspect of the collection. I can't even imagine what kind of time and effort went into the painstaking process of directing the orchestra and finding just the right touch of horns here and strings there. Then it's all about the vocals and finding the right balance between the musical background and the musical foreground.
Joy to the World - About The Songs:That balance has been found on such standout tracks as the tender "Away In A Manger" and "Joy To The World," where the latter song highlights the artist's vocal talents and impresses with the big, bold choir joining into the grand production.
"O Holy Night!" may not start out as bold as "Joy To The World," but it's the buildup that makes her version spectacular.
As far as favorite Christmas songs go, "Silent Night" is the one I'd select. Not only on this release but others as well. Simply said -- it's beautiful in many ways. Faith sings it well and doesn't try to overpower the lyrics. For that I'm thankful.
Not all tracks are slow though, and for some added pep, there is the kid favorite "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town," the all-ages sing-along-able "Holly Jolly Christmas," and "Winter Wonderland," which stays right in the middle of the tempo scale. Each of the three songs mentioned remind me of something you'd hear many decades ago, in the era of Doris Day. To be taken back to that time is a difficult task for any artist, but Faith managed to pull it off.
The only new song on Joy To The World is "A Baby Changes Everything." Though I enjoy the song, it seems quite obvious this was included only to be released as a single instead of blending in with the rest of the tracks. If you can get past that little fact, you'll find it's easy on the ears and a great way to get people interested in this Christmas album from the talented Faith Hill.
Release date: September 30, 2008 - Warner Bros.
Joy to the World Track List:
- Joy To The World
- What Child Is This?
- Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
- Little Drummer Boy
- O Come All Ye Faithful
- Holly Jolly Christmas
- Away In A Manger
- O Holy Night
- Winter Wonderland
- Silent Night
- A Baby Changes Everything