13.99 In Stock
Christmas is about the only time of year Christian music artists -- at least those who sing exclusively for believers -- can get away with recording secular music. For the most part, the content of their selections is innocuous -- standards, love songs, a few songs about Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty -- but it's curious how comfortably the material cohabitates with more sacred, solemn fare about Christ's first advent. Such is the case with Point of Grace's Winter Wonderland, the foursome's second seasonal album since 1999's gold-selling A Christmas Story. Like that album, the project is basically split right down the middle between carols and American classics, but, once again, everything is performed and produced so majestically, so gloriously, it's easy for one to forget about the subject matter and revel in the sweeping arrangements, the lush orchestrations, and the absorbing holiday ambience created by the ladies and their producer -- in this case, the always reliable Brown Bannister. If played continuously, it's almost as if both albums came from the same sessions -- a testament to the timeless, classic feel of the seasonal fare included here. When guided by the right vocal coach, Point of Grace can also turn in some truly breathtaking four-part harmonies, as in the all a cappella "In the First Light" and the sprawling, Macy's-friendly "Santa Medley." Deep down, though, Point of Grace are a Christian pop group at heart and, reasonably, the quartet covers Christmas stuff once recorded by CCM colleagues Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith, two acts the singers have toured with during holiday seasons past. No matter the provenance of the tunes, Winter Wonderland is Christmas music of the highest order, whether you need a soundtrack for reflection, last-minute shopping, or both.