While reviewing last year’s Christmas Present entries so I could see in which directions to expand the Christmas Present selections, I was surprised to discover I didn’t feature Faith Evans last year. Her Christmas album “A Faithful Christmas” has been on the playlist for a number of years now (the album was released in 2005), and particularly an original track, “Christmas Wish.”
Popping on to YouTube, I can’t find it anywhere, which makes me think the reason was I couldn’t find anything embeddable. You can Google or hop on iTunes to find it, as it’s still available for purchase. But the reasons I’ve liked the song, and other tracks on the album, is the blend of classic soul and modern production to produce an album that doesn’t sound as traditional, but is still quite enjoyable in its own way. Evans always brings a powerful, soulful voice to the table, and she doesn’t disappoint. “Christmas Wish” has a classic Christmas-sounding sample behind a modern beat, and it paints a musical mood beautifully.
While not all the songs are instant favorites for me, I always felt many of the higher notes of the album were great additions to the genre. Above is “Soulful Christmas,” which works in a similar vein, this time employing a powerful horn section. Other songs attempt to modernize classics, with some succeeding and some failing, but it’s definitely an album to seek out.