(MCA Records, 1993)
by Barbara A. Lopatin
If you're one of the unfortunate few who still haven't had the experience of being transformed by the magical voice of Vince Gill, you have only to listen to any one of the ten songs on his Christmas CD -- Let There Be Peace on Earth.
With a voice as smooth and sweet as an angel's, this emotional, thought-provoking collection is the perfect combination of traditional hymns and beautiful ballads. It truly captures the essence of the season.
Timeless classics such as the opener, "Do You Hear What I Hear?" "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "What Child is This?" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas," have never been sung with such sweet emotion. If you only choose one CD to play while you and your love light the candles, trim the tree and celebrate, let this be the one.
Two selections I had never before heard, "One Bright Star," and "'Til the Season Comes Around Again," were written and co-written (respectively) by John Barlow Jarvis. Exceptionally written and delightfully performed, these are sure to be favored by all.
The title track, "Let There Be Peace on Earth," performed as a duet with daughter Jenny, is done with perfect reverence. If this can't banish the Scrooge in you, nothing will. I literally feel myself swell with goodwill as the song sings the prayer for peace.
"It Won't Be the Same this Year," a song Gill wrote about his first Christmas home after the death of his brother, Bob, is touching and poignant. Listen with an open heart and this song could put an end to those family feuds; making us thankful instead for the true blessing of family. As he so elequently says, "There's nothing more important than your family/We're all the children of the King of Kings."
Top all of this off with a jazzy instrumental rendition of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and a version of "White Christmas" that even Irving Berlin would be proud of and you've got the reason this collection quickly went gold. I can't imagine Christmas without it.
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