Another oldie but goodie, Amy Grant’s Home For Christmas has always been a staple for me. There’s just too much great stuff going on on this album for me to give it up for something newer.
For one thing, there’s an orchestra playing on almost every track on this album. As much as I appreciate the new acoustic-guitar-and-singer minimalist style, there’s something to be said for a full orchestra accompaniment. It’s a sound will never get old. For another thing, the album actually includes some classically-inspired music, with a shortened and simplified version of “For Unto Us” from Handel’s Messiah, as well as a solo-guitar-turned-Celtic arrangement of Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” as the finale piece.
The emotional range of the songs on this album is huge. If you’re feeling nostalgic at Christmas or looking forward to being with family, if you’re having a party, or if you’re reflecting on God’s great gift to us, there is a track that will appeal to you. They are also all extremely singable, which is a big plus in my book. I like to rock out to Christmas music in my car. No shame.
For me, though, the winning track is “Breath of Heaven,” also known as Mary’s Song. I’ve heard many different versions and performances of this song over the years, both recorded and live, and this one is unequivocally my favorite. Fantastically written, both musically and lyrically, and gloriously sung by Amy, it’s everything you imagine Mary must have been experiencing as a young girl, knowing she was carrying the Son of God. I would love to perform this song one day.
In summary, despite the age of this album (it was released in 1992) and the fact that Amy Grant has recorded at least three other Christmas albums in her time, I strongly encourage you to give this one a chance. You won’t be disappointed.
- Day 5: Renée Fleming – Christmas in New York
- Day 4: Neil Diamond – The Christmas Album
- Day 3: Vince Guaraldi Trio – A Charlie Brown Christmas
- Day 2: Sufjan Stevens – Songs For Christmas
- Day 1: Bing Crosby – Christmas Classics