Music Reviews by Kevin Pollard
Matt Maher: The Advent of Christmas, Essential Records, 2018
The Advent of Christmas is Matt Maher’s first full-length Christmas album and features a mix of classic carols with new originals. It is the new songs found here that remind you what a great songwriter Maher is. These are perfect songs for church worship teams to introduce to their December Sunday morning sets.
David Phelps: It Must Be Christmas, Gaither Music Group, 2018
With the release of David Phelps’ fifth career solo Christmas album, It Must Be Christmas, he has crafted yet another timeless collection of holiday favourites to be enjoyed for years to come. Highlights found on this 14-song collection include playful originals like “Christmas Rush” and “Catching Santa”.
Lauren Daigle: Behold(Deluxe), Centricity Music, 2018
On the heels of Lauren Daigle’s release Look Up Child that has led to unprecedented mainstream exposure performing on The Ellen Show, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Dancing With The Stars, she has released a deluxe version of her 2016 Christmas album Behold with three new tracks “Winter Wonderland”, “Away in a Manger” and “O Come O Come Emmanuel”. Lauren’s undeniable voice takes centre stage on this easy listening album.
Canadian Artist Releases
Dan Bremnes: Wherever I Go, Curb/Word, 2018
Canadian singer/songwriter Dan Bremnes, originally from Salmon Arm, BC, has released his seven-song EP, Wherever I Go. This project is a collection of new songs from the Juno Award-winning artist and is a follow up to his sophomore album Where The Light Is, that featured the hit single “Beautiful”. The title track and first single released earlier this year, on the heals of performing on the 47-city Winter Jam Tour, has seen significant radio play both here and in the US. Bremnes’ acoustic pop sound has lyrical depth as heard on the ballads “It Would Have Been Enough” and “Speak To Me”. My favourite tracks are his infectious pop melodies heard on “How You Love Me”, “Up Again”, “The Way”, and the title track that will be welcomed by fans of Matthew West and Jordon Feliz.
Chelsea Amber: Face the Waves, Independent, 2018
Juno-nominated singer/songwriter Chelsea Amber has been offering up her pop/soul music since her debut album in 2007, earning countless accolades including Female Vocalist and Pop Album of the Year at the 2015 Covenant Awards and she has toured North America sharing the stage with the likes of Mercy Me, Avalon, and a duet with Rita MacNeil. Chelsea’s music calls to mind the vocals of Natalie Grant, the engaging lyrics of Steven Curtis Chapman and the worshipful heart of Chris Tomlin. As evidenced by her song writing, she continues to walk in her God-given calling to music, encouraging people toward hope and purpose. www.chelseaamber.com