Matthew West, “The Heart of Christmas”

Matthew West is an amazing artist, songwriter, and vocalist!  His last album featured “The Motions” which spent 14 weeks at no. 1 and was nominated for a Grammy.  In 2007, he had a severe vocal problem and had to go through a surgery which led to his most emotional album to date, “Something to Say”.  He has an outstanding solo career, but he has also written song for Point of Grace, Mandisa, Natalie Grant, Rascal Flatts, and Billy Ray Cyrus.  His latest album, “The Heart of Christmas” was inspired by a true story that the Gospel Music Channel has made a movie of.  (Premiering on GMC 7/4/2011).  Let’s take a look at this Christmas album and see if he’s done himself justice.

Come On, Christmas
I love the feel of this song!  Matthew West likes to put in a jazz/bouncy/R&B tune on all his albums.  He usually sneaks it in and surprises us, but this one hits us up front setting the whole tenor of the album.  Amazing horns and a beautiful sax solo towards the end of the song.  A super fun song with a beautiful holiday beat and lovely lyrical sentiment.

Jingle Bells
I’m pretty sure…not positive…but pretty sure that he didn’t write this song.  But he did a great job putting this together.  Jazz…jazz…jazz.  🙂  He’s also thrown in pieces of other Christmas songs and I love the way it plays out.  It’s a super fun little medley.  A great twist on an outstanding classic.

The Heart of Christmas
I love this song!  It’s something that I’ve noticed the past few years…it is no longer a miracle that a virgin gave birth in a barn to a baby that would save the world.  Look at it…break it down.

A virgin.  Gave birth.  In a barn.  To a baby that would save.  The world.

“Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?  We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.'”  (Matthew 2:1b-2)  This song is a reminder to be captivated by the Christmas season and what it means.  Beautiful melody, peaceful piano…this is a beautiful song, about a beautiful time of year, and a beautiful Savior.

Leaving Heaven
OH guitar!  OH this song.  I’m captivated.  I didn’t know Vince Gill played guitar till about two years ago.  His voice…and his geetar…sound GREAT with Matthew West!  This song…ha…THIS SONG!!!  🙂  This song is probably the best on the album.  And I haven’t listened to any of the ones after this.  The ending is spectacular!  But I won’t give it away.  If you don’t have the money to buy this album…BUY THIS SONG!!!

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Strings…love the strings!  I LOVE EVERYTHING!  LOL…I’m a lover not a fighter.  This is a very traditional version of this song.  There’s nothing wrong with that…I’m just saying.  It is way too slow!  I just don’t enjoy slow songs…personal preference.  But it’s SO super Christmas-y.

One Last Christmas
I hate Christmas songs that make me cry.  But at the same time…it’s cathartic quite often.  A touching story, and a reminder to be thankful for what you have during the holidays.  Commercialism and materialism have almost ruined the times between Thanksgiving and New Years.  This seems to be an entire album about the story the GMC movie is about.  This song is also part of that story.  For some more information click here.

Silent Night (Interlude)
Lovely piano piece.  It’s the song we all know and love!

Give This Christmas Away
“Featuring Amy Grant” is all you have to write after a song to get me hooked!  She’s been one of my favorites from the get go and I love that she’s on here and so is Vince.  Another, sweet reminder of things we should remember during the holiday season.  We all make our Santa lists…including myself.  But think of all the people who are asking Santa for a home…food…things to keep them warm…enough money to keep their house.  Think about it…listen to this song and let it MAKE you think about it!!!

O, Holy Night
This is another gorgeous recording of a classic Christmas hit!  Piano and strings…and I’m passing out from the fantasticnessicity!!!  Wonderful traditional version of a traditional hit!

Christmas Makes Me Cry
“Christmas Makes Me Cry” makes me cry.  We’ve all lost people and experienced our own heart aches…and looking at the different ornaments, the lights, the classic Christmas movies…all these things makes us think about the people we absolutely love but can’t be with this season.

O Come, All Ye Faithful
Wait a minute…wait a minute…WAIT A MINUTE.  Oh Matthew West…you just freakin’ rocked my Christmas.  I love this song it’s one of my favorite songs and this version is the BEST I ERE HEARD!!!  WHOA!!!  Dude…this is absolutely spectacular!  This is the most amazing version of this song.  If you like Christmas music BUY THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Day After Christmas
I’m listening to the intro for this song and I’m getting my hopes up.  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNDDDDDD it’s awesome!  🙂  This song is spectacular.  I like this album seems to move us logically through a Christmas story.  I love this idea, because it’s so true.  Christmas is over…but the sentiment behind it NEVER has to fade away.

I’m going to go ahead and say it: this is the best Christmas album of the season.  If you are as obsessed with Christmas music as I am then this is a must have for your collection.  Matthew West wrote some amazing new, moving Christmas songs and given some awesome spins to some old classics.  Go download/buy/spotify this album and keep on rocking’ around the Christmas tree!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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