Sidewalk Prophets- Merry Christmas To You (Great Big Family Edition) opens the Christmas Season With a Variety of Sounds
Sidewalk Prophets have outdone themselves with this Christmas album that will take many listeners back to a forgotten time, and others appreciating the classical notes to beautiful Christmas songs.
Whether your taste is classical, rock or contemporary, listeners will appreciate the musical variety found in these tracks. Both young and old will find songs that resonate with them- hence it being the perfect album for the entire family!
Songs on the Album:
What A Glorious Night- This song opens with a narrative of the birth of Jesus. I believe that I heard a nod to “Peanuts” at the end of it. Very beautiful and ethereal. The song begins slow and becomes more up tempo after the narrative.
Lyrically, the song discusses the birth of Jesus and the angels rejoicing. The second stanza talks about the shepherds hearing the good news.
The chorus is very catchy, and the round of “glorious” after the second verse will put listeners in a praise and worship mood.
White Christmas (Featuring Francesca Battistelli)- Lovely 50’s throwback version of a classic song. Hints of bells and organ add that classical feeling to the song.
This nod to the fifties doesn’t detract from the song at all. It makes it danceable, noticeable and adds its own flair. I loved the rendition, personally. It’s my favorite version.
Give Me Christmas- Give Me Christmas is about the excitement and anticipation of Christmas. It’s about presents, guessing what’s in them, the tree, lights, etc. It isn’t until the chorus that the song challenges readers to think differently. It gives the message about what Christmas is truly about. It says that all of the visual cues of Christmas are not enough- that we need the love which is found in the true meaning of Christmas.
The song is very playful sounding. Trumpets add a celebratory feel to the song, and again an organ can be heard in the background giving it a bit more traditional feel.
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas is sung very traditionally. It opens with a bit of grandeur, but when the first verse hits, the tempo becomes slower. It is sung very sweetly, and the vocals are both powerful and rich.
Hey Moon- This song opens with a piano being played beautifully in the background. Lyrically, it is the story of Jesus told from the vantage point of the moon. What would the moon have seen that night? It also contrasts what the moon would have seen on the night that Jesus was born and contrasting it to the meaning of Christmas today. It talks about how people feel the longing for Christ but don’t always listen. It also discusses how the meaning of Christmas has changed from what it was meant to be.
I love the lyrics as it causes the listener to question what Christmas really means, and has them search within themselves to see if they have become too commercial with the holiday.
Merry Christmas To You- Guitar strumming opens up this playful song. It talks about the beautiful atmosphere of winter with snowmen waving Merry Christmas. The lyrics are hilarious if you listen to them. It talks about grandpa snoring and stockings.
It talks about Santa, reindeer, and angels singing on the rooftop. The chorus talks about giving love that’s true, which is really the focal point of the song.
Holly Jolly Christmas- Again, another 50’s sounding throwback which makes the song very lovable. It almost has a “Buddy Holly” feel to it. It will send mature listeners back in time, and younger listeners will appreciate the classic feel to it.
What Child Is This- The gorgeous warm notes of a guitar open this song. It is still sung simply and humbly. The chorus is sung boldly with the drums being played in the background to add almost an emphasis to the song.
By the third verse, there is almost a heartbeat sound heard in the background. The instrumentals cease except for this sound. Then, as the song goes into the chorus again, it becomes bolder and crescendos.
That Spirit of Christmas- The sounds of an organ open up the song. It has a bit of an old-school flair to it.
The Spirit of Christmas describes the sentiment of Christmas and the reflections of times past. The song reflects on carols being sung and what it means throughout the ages. The middle of the song goes into a traditional version of the family surrounding the Christmas tree. It asks why can the sentiment of love remains throughout the year- why is it just on one special day? It comments that the Spirit of Christmas is truly amazing.
Silent Night- Piano is played solemnly and softly at the opening. The song is sung very traditionally, yet beautifully. If I close my eyes, I envision a warm, roaring fire with the atmosphere reflecting the birth of Jesus and its meaning.
Violins round out the warm tones in the middle of the song before dropping off for the last stanza only to return at “radiant beams”. Here the arrangement changes by about a half-octave but adds power to the ending.
Hope Was Born This Night- Hope Was Born This Night begins powerfully. It discusses how the birth of Jesus meant that it was the beginning of hope because His birth began God’s grace- or the eventual ending of the old covenant.
It sings praise to God and will lead listeners into the same worship.
In the middle, “Gloria” is sung wherein the song slows down but adds to that worship feel. Then, it becomes more powerful enhancing the atmosphere of the song.
Because It’s Christmas- Because It’s Christmas is very playful. It opens with the falling of snow and being stuck in traffic. It talks about slowing down and not getting caught up in what needs to be done. Our focus should be on the beauty and meaning of the season- not the busyness.
I love the phrase, “Because it’s Christmas, love is filling the air.” Then it says, “Let your worries melt away.” It talks about how we let our worries overpower the meaning of Christmas and why we truly celebrate.
Great Big Family Christmas- The opening is very interesting. For some reason, it reminds me of a clock. The melody is very playful. It opens with a visual of snow, carols, family, friends, sleigh bells, etc.
During the chorus, the sound changes to a bit of a country feel which makes it adorable. I loved the arrangement and the lyrics.
O Little Town Of Bethlehem (Emmanuel)- Again, another nod to 50’s rock at the opening. In the first verse the sound was more traditional. However, the 50’s rock punctuated the sound at various intervals.
At Emmanuel, it was sung very passionately, powerfully, and beautifully. I loved the arrangement. The songs on this track are not just sung because they are well-known carols, they actually make the listener feel the power and awe of Christ’s birth. They almost take you there by both the lyrics and the arrangements.
Don’t Forget The Star- This song is about a little boy on his grandpa’s knee making memories. The grandfather asks the boy about what Christmas means to him, in which he talks about presents, etc. The grandfather chuckles and shares the meaning that Christmas has to him. He points to the star on the tree and reminds the boy about the true meaning of Christmas. He advises him not to forget.
By the second verse, it talks about the memory fading as the boy grows older. The bills are piling up, concerns that come with being an adult, and a little girl. Yet, as he looks at her, he remembers his grandfather’s words.
As the man raises his daughter, he thinks of his grandfather and how Jesus came for us.
O Holy Night- Song is sung sweetly with a guitar strumming in the background. The song becomes more passionate and powerful at the birth of Christ.
I highly recommend this album. It is one that the whole family can enjoy, and it will add that festive feel to the holiday season while keeping your focus on our Lord and Savior.
You can purchase a copy of it here.