Christmas is Here

Christmas is Here

Brandon Heath’s first holiday release displays the same mix of old-school songwriting chops, folk/pop eclecticism, and inclusive Christian faith that have made his previous albums so appealing. Christmas Is Here has the easygoing charm and understated polish of a vintage James Taylor album, whether Heath is applying his cozy tenor to a yuletide standard like “The Christmas Song” or one of his self-penned tunes. Fans of his 2012 release Blue Mountain will find a similar bluegrass touch in the twanging dobros and shimmering mandolins lighting up the hymns “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and “In the Bleak Midwinter.” Heath’s originals are melodically strong and lyrically thoughtful, whether he’s getting into the holiday spirit (“The Day After Thanksgiving”), spiking a family vignette with a dash of Bourbon Street cheer (“Momma Wouldn’t Lie to Me”), or retelling the Nativity story with a personal touch (“Just a Girl”). A medley of “O Come All Ye Faithful”/”Angels We Have Heard on High” ends the album on a satisfying traditional note.

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