Steven Curtis Chapman "Joy"
by Grace Thorson (cmaddict) on 2012-10-16 15:49:44

Every year, and around this time, I’m often on the hunt for new Christmas music to review. These yuletide albums usually come out early, and I’m often crazy enough to start listening to them already. I’m always intrigued to see on the new releases list which artist has plans to do a Christmas album, and my very first to hear this year is “Joy” by Steven Curtis Chapman. This is Steve’s fourth holiday project, added with “All I Really Want for Christmas” (released in 2005), “Christmas is All in the Heart” (released in 2003), and “The Music of Christmas” (released in 1995).

The reason Steven Curtis Chapman chose to do a Christmas album this year is all wrapped up in the title of his new album “Joy.” After what the Chapman family went through with the loss of Maria, Steve wanted to record an album that spoke of a new season for them. He says “So many have prayed for us and encouraged us and, having the opportunity to write, record and share this new music really feels like the beginning of a new season…a season of joy.” And that’s what this album is… full of joy!

For my favorites, I’m going to start with his debut single “Christmas Time Again.” The melody hit me with its fun little jive and 60’s style guitar. I also like the lyrics: “Christmas time is here, come and celebrate the best time of the year, jingle bells are a ringin’ and the carolers are singing their Christmas songs.” You can tell Steven Curtis Chapman had a lot of fun playing it and that’s contagious for the listener. Spread some festive cheer!

I’m so happy Steven Curtis Chapman decided to include “We Three Kings” amidst his song list. This particular holiday track is continually a favorite of mine. I don’t know why… I suppose it’s because of how it would just rise up with such emphasis from the chorus: “Star of wonder, star of light, star of royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us toward thy perfect light.” And I really like Steven’s version of it all.

“Christmas Card” is a unique holiday song. I’m not sure if it’s been around a while or what, but I’ve never heard it. I should have though! The lyrics are what really make this song so special. Here’s a snippet: “So I’m sending you this Christmas card to let you know that somebody loves you, and I’m singing you this little song to let you know you’re not alone, and I’m thinking as we celebrate how love came down so every lost, lonely, broken heart would get found, and wherever you are, I hope this Christmas card finds you and reminds you, you are loved.” This could be my top favorite song off this album.

As December rolls around, I can imagine putting this cd on, plugging in the Christmas lights, and hanging shiny ornaments on the tree. It’s actually putting a smile on my face just thinking about it. I adore this holiday! And “Joy” by Steven Curtis Chapman is a great way to celebrate this special time of year. If you’re looking for new Christmas music and you love this artist, be sure and pick it up. You’ll feel the joy!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Genre: Pop
Label: Reunion/Chapman
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Buy it: Amazon

1. Joy To The World 3:12
2. Christmas Time Again 3:13
3. Christmas In Kentucky 4:17
4. Do You Hear What I Hear? 4:10
5. Christmas Kiss 3:24
6. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow 2:27
7. Christmas Time Is Here 2:29
8. What Child Is This? 3:40
9. In The Bleak Midwinter 3:25
10. Christmas Card 3:55
11. We Three Kings 4:27
12. I Am Joseph (God Is With Us) 3:59
13. Happy New Year 2:20

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