Sandra's Country Music Presents

Clint Black's
"Looking for Christmas"

(RCA, 1995)

by Sandra L. Toney

"Looking For Christmas," Clint Black's 1995 Christmas album, is one of those releases that you only need to listen to once to KNOW that it's fabulous, creative, and unique. Black's first attempt at a Holiday CD is a triumphant one. When anyone buys a Christmas album from an artist, you expect to hear the old stand-bys sang in a different tone or speed. What you don't expect is brand new, ORIGINAL songs for the Holidays. That is what Clint Black is offering on "Looking for Christmas."

In fact, Black let his songwriting talents take over and either wrote or co-wrote every selection on the album. And, believe it or not, there isn't one even slightly corny or silly song in the bunch. Even though the seventh song, "Til' Santa's Gone (Milk and Cookies)," comes close, I ended up seeing how the upbeat song adds some youthful fun to the entirety of the total album. The song, co-written by Black, Hayden Nicholas, and Shake Russell, tells why Santa keeps coming back to one boy's house, "Now I know what he likes for a late night snack/For years now it's been bringing him back/Milk and Cookies . . ."

Other fun, upbeat selections on the release include "Slow as Christmas," which humorously explains how looong it takes for Christmas to get here and how QUICKLY it seems to fly by. "The Coolest Pair" and "Christmas for Every Boy and Girl" are also sure to be family favorites.

The title song, "Looking for Christmas," written solely by Black, is a beautifully inspired holiday song which could easily become a Christmas classic. As he's looking for Christmas, he's actually looking for the "meaning" of Christmas as the chorus says so well, "And I close my eyes and I'm kneeling there in the stall/And could I be the wise man, sharing his wisdom/Creating a kingdom for all." A perfect religious tribute to the Lord.

On the opening single, "The Finest Gift," one can't help but wonder if Black's beloved wife, Lisa, wasn't the inspiration behind this song as he profoundly croons, "It's in everything you'll see scattered underneath our tree/You can hear it in the carols that we sing/It's the heart of love's design and it appreciates with time/And she'll always be the finest gift she brings." What a heartfelt message . . .

My favorite song on the album is actually a three-way tie. Besides the already-mentioned title hit, "Looking for Christmas" (which Black reprises as the final selection as well), two others deserve high praise. "Under the Mistletoe," again written solely by Black, finds a man wondering if the way he feels about his certain someone at Christmas is only because of the mistletoe. As he wonders in the chorus, "Gotta know I'm afraid to go/Don't want out if we're in the throws/Flames die out in the afterglow/And I've got to know is it only the mistletoe/Don't think so, I've gotta know." The song is a good one because we all feel a little lighter in our step at this magical time of year.

"The Kid," co-written by Black, Nicholas, and the legendary Merle Haggard, is perhaps the one song that makes you THINK the most about Christmas as Clint remembers what it was like to be a kid, "I'm not a kid anymore, but I still believe that those miracles occur/That's not something up his sleeve/And that the reindeer pull the sleigh and the elves still make the toys/Santa gives away to all the girls and boys." I guess we ALL have to believe in something. Why NOT believe in reindeer and elves? If it's good enough for country superstar, Clint Black, it's good enough for me . . . Maybe Santa will bring YOU a copy of Clint Black's CD, "Looking for Christmas." Be sure to put it at the TOP of your list!

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