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Reviews of 4 New Christmas Music Releases – Part 1

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Since listening to the Andy Williams Christmas Album that my mom would play as we were going to sleep as a young boy, I’ve loved Christmas music, and am always looking for new releases to add to my collection. Here are reviews of four new holiday releases – from Crowder, Michael W. Smith, Ellie Holcomb and Switchfoot – that you might be interested in.

Milk & Cookies: A Merry Crowder Christmas – Crowder 

Crowder follows up his previous Christmas release, the David Crowder Band’s 2011’s Oh For Joy EP, with Milk & Cookies: A Very Crowder Christmas. The title is a nod to Crowder’s excellent 2021 album Milk & Honey. The project features four interludes narrated by Crowder “Burl Ives’ style”, ten songs, including festive and sometimes humorous originals, re-imagined classics and creative collaborations. It will be a nice collection to your Christmas music collection.

Below are a few comments about each song:
Prelude: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
– After the narration, there is a brief version of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”, written by Edmund Sears.

Thanks Giver – This is an mid-tempo song about God turning one into a thanks giver, was written by David Crowder, Jeff Sojka and Ben Glover. The song features guitar, drums, bass, piano, backing vocals, and a guitar solo.
Key lyric:     
You make joy out of simple
And ordinary things
You fill life up with stories
I’d never think to dream
So this holiday I wanna praise
The One who’s making a saint
Out of this sinner
The One who’s turned me into this thanks giver

I’ve Heard About You – This was the first song released from the album. It was written by David Crowder, Jeff Sojka and Ben Glover. This song features guitar, drums, bass, and backing vocals. The song speaks to the fact that it is during Christmas season that most people hear about Jesus.
Key lyrics:
Could it be true what I’ve heard about You? 

Interlude I: Milk

The Elf Song – This song was written by David Crowder, Jeff Sojka and Ben Glover. This humorous song is about giving Santa’s elves some respect – and a pay raise. The song features Crowder’s swamp rock sound, with guitar, bass, drums, and backing vocals.
Key lyric:
Let’s talk about fairness
Elf awareness

The Ballad of Mrs. C (She’s Sick of the Beard) – This humorous song is about Mrs. Claus, who is really sick of everything related to Christmas. The song features guitar, drums, bass, and backing vocals.
Key lyric:
Cause its always HO, HO, HO
Up here in the Northern Pole
Had enough Christmas cheer
It’s Christmas all year
Yeah, she’s tired of his crazy career
And she’s sick of the beard
She’s sick of the beard

Christmastime Is Here – This song was written by David Crowder, Jeff Sojka and Ben Glover. The song, which has a Nat King Cole sound, features piano, acoustic guitar, bass, drums and a guitar solo.
Key lyric:
Play some Bing and Sinatra
And hang up the stockings
Cause Christmastime is here

Interlude II: Cookies 

Your Praise Goes On – This song was written by David Crowder, Jeff Pardo, Jeff Sojka and Ben Glover. The song tells us that what happened that night will ring on forever, till every song has been sung. The song features piano, drums, bass, backing vocals, and a memorable chorus.
Key lyric:
Your praise goes on never ending
Your praise goes on, how sweet is that sound
It’s been 2000 years, we’re still singing Your song
Your praise goes on 

Go Tell It on the Mountain – This song was written by John W. Work, and features Ricky Skaggs. The song features guitar, mandolin, bass, drums, and backing vocals.
Key lyric:
Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born 

White Christmas – This song was written by Irving Berlin. This rocking version features guitar, bass, backing vocals, drums, and a guitar and fiddle solo.
Key lyric:
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmas’ be white

Carol of the Bells – This song was written by Mykola Leontovych and Peter J. Wilhousky. It features Tommee Profitt, guitar, backing vocals, strings, bass, drums and bass.
Key lyric:
Words of good cheer
From everywhere
Filling the air
Christmas is here

December 26th (Auld Lang Syne) – This song, written by David Crowder, Jeff Sojka and Ben Glover, includes some of the “Auld Lang Syne”, written Robert Burns. The song features piano, organ and backing vocals.
Key lyric:
Should old acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne? 


Favorite Songs:
Thanks Giver
I’ve Heard About You
Your Praise Goes On
Go Tell It On The Mountain

Christmas at Home – Michael W. Smith

The EP Christmas at Home is Michael W. Smith’s fifth Christmas project. What is unique about this release is that Smith brings in several family members into the project.

Here are a few brief comments about each song:

The Night Before… This is a brief instrumental featuring piano and orchestration.

Christmas Is Here – This song was written by Smith and daughter Anna Bovi, and features piano, a chorus of all of his grandchildren, and an orchestral arrangement done by Smith’s son, Tyler.
Key lyric:
Ring, ring all the bells
Angels rejoice
Redemption upon us

Freeze The Frame – This song was written by Smith and Tony Wood. The song paints pictures of family moments around the holidays. The song features piano, percussion, strings, and daughter Anna Bovi on vocals.
Key lyric:
My only wish this Christmas Eve
Is that we could all remain
Forever here

The Star – This mostly instrumental, features vocals from Smith’s daughter Whitney Mooring, piano and orchestration.

God with God – This song is about God becoming incarnate in Jesus and coming to Earth to be with us. It was produced, orchestrated, and arranged by David Hamilton, and features the 200+ member Brentwood Baptist Choir.
Key lyric:
Then one holy chosen midnight
Something wild and wonderous
God with God in highest heaven
Suddenly now, God with us
As he promised, God with us

Christmas at Wildwood – This instrumental features Smith on piano.

Christmas Is Here (Radio Edit)

Favorite Songs:
Christmas is Here
God with God

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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