(Album art courtesy of Reach Records)
Album Review: ‘The Gift: A Christmas Compilation’
By Sarah Komisky
Accompanied with all the food and the festivities, Christmas music has become a staple for the holiday season. Along with the classics we all love, there is also room for creative interpretation and reinvention in every new record’s release. As a Christ-follower, the blend of songs that reflect the joy of the season and tell the Christmas story in a new way are always ones that become my new favorites. If this is what you are also looking for, Reach Records, The Gift: A Christmas Compilation is your go-to album this season.
Reach Records, an Atlanta-based indie label founded by CEO Ben Washer and President hip-hop artist Lecrae was created to change the way people see the world through faith-based hip-hop. Last year, the holiday album, featuring the 116 artists, did just that! Debuting at No. 13 on iTunes Christian Albums Chart, featuring Cass, Tedashii, Trip Lee, and of course, Lecrae himself, the album was so good that this year the record label released a deluxe edition of the album. This time, new guest collaborations were added from artists Andy Mineo, GAWVI, Hollyn, and Wande, to complete an eclectic 12-track complication.
According to Marcus Hollinger, vice president of marketing at Reach Records, “We wanted to give Christmas a new feel while maintaining the integrity of our faith in the content of the records.” This is essentially what sets apart this album. Not only is it joyous, it’s worship in hip-hop flavor.
If you’re ready to celebrate Christ’s birth, this is the playlist. With twists on classic carols and an introduction of new originals, this record is an instant 2019 favorite for this season.
Songs like “Angel,” “Joy,” “Noel,” “O’Come,” “Silent Night” and “We Three Kings,” give a fresh spin on songs that are normally slow and pensive, providing a new way for the listener to experience the song in an upbeat light. Almost like an excited anticipation of Christ’s birth! Maybe even a new way to reflect the Christmas story in current culture.
Other originals, like “Thanking You” and “This Christmas,” also reflect on important themes for the holiday season, including practicing presence, gratitude, togetherness, not letting life derail our focus from Christ, the love of God given to humanity, and even the prayer for light to shine in the darkness of our culture and our own souls with “All is Bright.”
The album is unique because it has the ability to be relevant and is also musically on par with the exceptional artists that took risks with their art – and it paid off!
Whether you’re a fan of the genre or not, this album is a must for all music lovers including hints of R&B, Gospel, Pop, along with the hip-hop sounds.
All and all, this record (now on vinyl) provides something a little different to add to your playlist this year. And, it’s an especially great gift for anyone who wants to celebrate and focus on Christ in Christmas in festive, out-of-the-box way.
To find out more about Reach Records and to pick up your own copy of this new album visit reachrecords.com