The next installment in the WOW Gospel series, the double disc WOW Gospel Christmas 2007 (EMI Gospel), features 30 top holiday songs from perennials Kirk Franklin, Smokie Norful, CeCe Winans, Donnie McClurkin, Israel Houghton and more. In the spirit of Christmas and to celebrate the release, WOW label contributors and Feed the Children have partnered to create a 30-minute Christmas TV special which BET aired on Thanksgiving weekend. The album is sure to get your soul ready for caroling this Christmas!

Mandisa sings her heart out on her EP, Christmas Joy (Sparrow). The four-track disc features a duet with Matthew West, “Christmas Makes Me Cry,” a song for the troops and their families. She adds her signature vocals to a Stevie Wonder cover, “What Christmas Means to Me,” and rounds it out with two traditional carols, “Joy to the World” and “O Holy Night.” In just a short time, Mandisa has become one of the freshest new voices in urban and contemporary gospel. Come on, ring those bells!

Spreading her own Christmas joy, Yolanda Adams’ What a Wonderful Time (Integrity) mixes new and old holiday favorites on the follow-up to her 2000 release Christmas with Yolanda Adams. The album features five eclectically arranged holiday standards, including “My Favorite Things,” the Motown  classic “Give Love on Christmas Day,” “Do  You Here What I Hear” and a jazzy re- working of “Jingle Bells.” The five original  tracks on the album bring messages of hope for all year-round, especially “Hold On.” And the title track is a big band Christmas song sure to get you in the festive mood.

With all these incredible new Christmas releases, it’s time to kick off the holiday season. Who says you have to wait until after Thanksgiving? Start spreading good cheer—be the first in your neighborhood to deck the halls, have your Christmas party and send your Christmas cards! And don’t forget the tunes.


ALSO NEW THIS SEASON:

Jim Brickman,
Homecoming
(Savoy Jazz)

Diamond Rio,
Christmas: The Star Still Shines
(Word)

David Phelps,
One Wintry Night
(Word)

Jaci Velasquez,
Open House EP
(A’postrophe)

Various,
Bethlehem Skyline
(Centricity)

Our Favorite Classic Christmas Albums:

Muppets and John Denver Christmas. For obvious reasons.”—Matt Odmark, Jars of Clay

“I grew up loving the sweet pop vocal sounds of the great Ray Conniff. All those people singing together in unison sounded like the holidays to me.”—Steve Mason, Jars of Clay

My favorite Christmas album of all time is Kirk Franklin and the Family Christmas. I got saved around the time this album was released and I heard the songs about Jesus with a fresh perspective only the Holy Spirit can bring. To this day I know that, just as Kirk sang, ‘Jesus IS the reason for the season’!”—Mandisa

Alabama Christmas (1985)...there are very few records that “take me back” to my childhood growing up in Georgia like this one does. Seriously, it’s one of the most sentimental collections of songs that I know of for bringing back vivid memories of the innocence of Christmas.”—Bebo Norman

“Sufjan Stevens, Songs for Christmas.”
—Matt Hoopes, Relient K

“We play a lot of music. My kids pull out the records early and we don’t quit playing them until January. Christmastime without an orchestra is not Christmas to me. There are a lot of people who like rock & roll- type Christmas records, but I grew up with Doris Day, Barbra Streisand and Leonard Bernstein; all those records have orchestras. When I think about Christmas, I think about that music.” —Michael W. Smith


 

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