My Rating: 4.5/5
Matt Redman’s These Christmas Lights is his first Christmas album. In collaboration with Chris Tomlin, Natasha Bedingfield, and Tasha Cobbs, Redman offers his musical and lyrical contribution to several of the Christmas season’s most beloved songs. Featuring versions of classics like “Joy to the World,” “O Come Let Us Adore Him,” and “Holy Night,” as well as new Christmas songs to add to your collection, These Christmas Lights is an album full of Christmas spirit and celebration of the birth of our savior.
The album opens with the title track, “These Christmas Lights.” Christmas bells begin the intro to this song of hope. The strings, bells, and drums create a celebratory song about the “wonder of that Christmas night.” For the “world lost in the darkness felt the hope of heaven’s light,” and that light is what we still celebrate today.
“Angels (Singing Gloria)” features special guest Chris Tomlin. The song includes a wide range of instruments including strings, acoustic guitar, glockenspiel, and banjo. These instruments layered over each other create a musically rich sound as the simple word of the chorus, “Gloria,” is sung as a prayer of praise. The bridge builds with harmonies and becomes fuller and fuller until it flows into another musically rich chorus. The song ends with a more stripped down repeat of the bridge, which creates an awe-filled feel as it invites listeners to sing to the most glorious one.
“Hearts Waiting (Joy to the World)” gives a Christmas classic a new sound and feel. The simpler verses are offset by a full, rich chorus that includes the familiar words: "Joy to the world, the Lord has come.” The verses, too, include the words, “Come, o come, Emanuel.” It is a song of celebration and praise because our savior has come; this is why we celebrate this season of joy.
Matt Redman shared that the heart behind this album came from a trip he took to Israel. As he walked many of the streets that Jesus, himself, probably walked, Redman could not help but think about Jesus coming to us as a baby. This album is a reflection of the thoughts and feelings from that trip. The awe, gratitude, and celebration connected to the miraculous birth of our savior can be heard and felt in every song on this well crafted holiday album.