Read more reviews of Christmas CDs that have been released in 2001. Christmas reviews from previous years are also still available.
This is Fred Hammond’s first Christmas album. But that doesn’t mean he’s never written any Christmas songs.Producer: Fred Hammond
album release date: September 25, 2001
In fact, you may recognize some of those songs on this project, as several of them are included with new material. Titled Just Remember, this set is lighly urban, and features Fred on lead vocals all the way through with vocal support from his familiar crew.
Hammond gets more than three cheers for bringing back “Suddenly”, the flagship, multi-artist song from the first volume of Real Meaning of Christmas. Listen to Hammond redo the slow-tempoed melody with his own vocals throughout and remind yourself that this song is a classic.
Also re-appearing are “Gabriel Tell Them” and “Go Tell It On The Mountain”, offerings also heard on Real Meaning albums, delivered under the Radical For Christ banner. “We Sing Glory” is also revisited.
On “He Is The Reason” another of Fred’s Christmas compositions from some years back he brings in some of The Singletons on backing vocals to join with his regular crew of vocalists. It’s good to hear those recognizable elements of Commissioned’s “King of Glory” integrated.
In between all these warm memories are an abundance of fresh songs . “His Name Is Jesus”, “God Has Been Good” and “Christmas Everyday” (written by Marcus Cole and Mano Hanes) are all wonderfully accessible and memorable tunes that can truly extend beyond December.
“A Strange Way To Save The World”, Hammond’s cover of the 4Him song, is a standout, with gorgeous layered harmonies and Hammond singing with a warmth that hearkens back to the day. Also covered is Dino’s “It Took A Child To Save The World”.
As a whole, Just Remember rides on a smoothly refined urban vibe. With Fred Hammond in the driver’s seat, you really can’t go wrong with this one.
reviewed by Stan North —
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