This is a great Gospel record. Forget that it is Christmas songs, this is positively majestic mighty music in service of devotion from deep, all the way deep in the soul. I actually can not stand Christmas music, but I felt driven to my knees the first time I heard this. There is quite a panoply of diverse guests on this that makes the ecumenical message of Christmas all the more clear and direct. This is a record for the ages.
"Last Month of the Year" resounds profoundly as the CD gets under way, and from there, the music just gets more and more awe-inspiring. Tom Waits joins the Boys for the title track, and you'll never listen to this song again without remembering this take on it. The great Solomon Burke steps away from his ministry in Philadelphia to essay "Prayer on Christmas" and the marraige of his voice with the Boys is one made in heaven itself. Chrissie Hynde delivers "Bleak Midwinter" with just the right sense of loss before redemption. Mavis Staples sweeps all before her with "Born in Bethlehem."
In one of the most unexpected pairings you'll ever hear, the Boys enlist George Clinton for "Away in the Manger" and it is absolutely the right touch. The entire album has been put together with such incredible care that you are moved by its spirituality as well as in awe of its sheer conception and power. When it all comes to a profoundly reverential close in "Silent Night", you'll feel even the Pope couldn't get his close to God.
You'll return to this disc often, and not just at Christmas. The Blind Boys of Aalabama have a vision of what Music cand be and can do. God Bless them with a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.