A New Thought for Christmas

A New Thought for Christmas

With a cornucopia of singer/songwriters warming up the same old Christmas chestnuts, it's refreshing to hear Grammy winner Melissa Etheridge bring new carols to the table like "Christmas In America," an emotional folk rocker with a soaring chorus. The song unfolds a moving story about a woman whose only Christmas wish is for her lover to return from Iraq, written for anyone who has ever had to endure the Holidays worrying while loved ones were stationed in dangerous territory. Easily the album's most powerful song, Etheridge sings passionately, "What happened to the peace on earth/ All that good will toward men/ Aw, come on all ye faithful/ It's time to think again." The more optimistic "Light a Light" muses on planting the seeds of change with a song that asks people to exercise less consuming and practice more compassion. "It's Christmas Time" is a bluesy number braiding protest folk lyrics of pacifism with sizzling guitar leads blasting from distorted vintage amplifiers. Although Etheridge wrote six of the ten songs here, A New Thought for Christmas opens with a slow burning and rootsy rendition of "Blue Christmas" and she also sings "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" with a gusto similar to Bono on U2's 1989 version.


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