Read more reviews of Christmas CDs that have been released in 2001. Christmas reviews from previous years are also still available.

Michael McDonald
In The Spirit

No stranger to Gospel, Michael McDonald delivers a Christmas project par excellence, with all the sounds you expect from the longtime soul man.

Add in Twinkie Clark and several other notables, and you've got yourself a winner.

Michael McDonald Christmas CDIt's real festival of groove on the highly energetic remake of "Children, Go Where I Send Thee", as Clark steps out vocally with McDonald in the middle of a frantic rhythm section from Dan Needham, generous horns, Tommy Sims' always fine bass work and support from The Delegation Choir.

Equally fine is "One Gift" with McDonald joing with James Ingram on the song penned by both along with co-produer Marc Harris. Their vocals along with Kirk Whalum's sax solo and the cool "Hallelujah"s on chorus make the song a standout.

McDonald occasionally calls on live solo strings (cello, violin) to make his point, such as on the remake of "On Christmas Morning" and its thematic alternate, "On This Night".

Co-writing with Beth Nielsen Chapman (and again with the strings), he strongly confesses his faith on "Peace":

I have come from so far away
Down the road of my own mistakes
In the hope you could hear me pray
Oh Lord, keep me in Your reach

How long I've longed through these wasted years
To outrun all the pain and fear
Turned to stone from my uncried tears
And now it's Your Grace I seek

from "Peace"

The musicians are always on point, and McDonald never fails to deliver on vocals. "To Make A Miracle" highlights that fact, demonstrating that he has not lost his impeccable soul drives, the one that have made him so sought after since his Doobie Brothers days.

Producers: Michael McDonald, Marc Harris
album release date: October, 2001
MCA-Nashville Records

reviewed by Stan North

  All content in GospelFlava copyright 2001. No information to be reprinted or re-broadcast from this site without the expressed written consent of GospelFlava.com. All rights reserved.

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