Review Rating: Add It To My Playlist! [4.5 / 5]
Christmas is coming soon and Matt Maher has us all covered. His latest album - The Advent of Christmas - is packed with cheer and carols alike, prime for the upcoming season. With classic tunes and novelty carols alike, Matt brings his festive take on a beloved genre with every track.
Themes of majesty saturate "He Shall Reign," from the massive choruses to the reverent lyrics. Strings dominate the melody as drums and subtle synthesized beats enter the choruses - with a subtle touch of piano to link everything together. In the lyrics, both in the context of Christmas and the context of His return, Matt celebrates the coming reign of Jesus Christ. "Unto us a child Is born - the King of kings and Lord of lords," he sings, "and He shall reign forevermore!"
"Hope For Everyone" follows shortly - a calmer, more reflective track on the album. Low guitar chords build the melody and support Matt's vocals, eventually brightening across the choruses and bridge. A choir of voices join in to celebrate the promised birth of Christ and worship. "Come let us adore … what are you waiting for?" Matt encourages, "there's hope for everyone." Hope, as expected, dominates as the song progresses and creates a comforting, contemplative atmosphere.
Amidst original Christmas tracks, Matt delivers renditions of beloved carols across the collection. "The First Noel" presents listeners with a calm rendition of the carol, adding light snare drums and electric guitar to accent the familiar tune. "Hark The Herald" capitalizes heavily on an acoustic, folk-sound while "O Come Emanuel" builds from strings and chimes to create a crescendo of celebration. Even "Jingle Bells" dances between classic and contemporary with an upbeat and bright melody.
As the Christmas season kicks into gear, The Advent of Christmas is sure to get listeners into a festive mood. Matt has created a collection sure to complement the festivities. With classics and contemporary takes focused on the celebration of the Savior, Advent is certainly worth the listening.