Read more reviews of Christmas CDs that have been released in 2001. Christmas reviews from previous years are also still available.
Vocals are the thing on this Christmas project from Marvin Matthews. The Nashville-based tenor brings it all together, with impeccable phrasing that showcases his extensive range and vocal textures and colors.Tell me why would he heal so many,
Simply titled Christmas, the album begins with Paul Wright’s powerful arrangement of “Oh, Holy Night”. Matthews is a vocal tour-de-force, here and throughout the 10-track project. Chris Willis, Angela Wright-Primm and Gail Mayes-West shine, delivering soulful background vocals as the song increasingly impacts.
Matthews’ rendition of “Mary Did You Know” is accented both by his brilliant phrasing and by acoustic guitars from Mark Baldwin. On “Sweet Little Jesus Boy”, Matthews’ own piano work accompanies him.
“He Came For Me” is an original, written jointly by Matthews, Paul Wright and Lisa Shipman. The song is another project highlight, and may well become a contemporary classic with its tuneful lines and powerful lyrics:
When He knew that his lot was to die.
And tell me why would He not call the angels
To come down and save his life.
He came for the lost and the broken,
And He came for the proud and the strong.
But most of all, I long to see
Just why He came for me…
from "He Came For Me"
Other selections on the project include David Foster’s “Grown Up Christmas List”, a cello-filled “It Came On Midnight Clear” (with piano specialist Derrick Jackson) and a new arrangement of “This Christmas”.
Marvin Matthew’s Christmas is a highlight of 2001’s Christmas crop.
Producer: Eric Wyse, Marvin Matthews
album release date: October, 2001
reviewed by Stan North —
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