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Behold! The Holidays Hath Arrived, says this Lauren Daigle Christmas album

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Lauren Daigle, the preeminent voice in Contemporary Christian Music, (aka CCM, the Hollywood of the Christian art community which is based in Nashville), has put her exceptional voice to it’s perfectly suited use here in the most vibrant traditional Christmas album I’ve heard in awhile, Behold: The Complete Set.

What makes it so great? It’s pure jazzy baritone sax-weilding Christmas joy. We’re talking influences of Nat King Cole’s Christmas Song. Influences of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas. And even a bit of Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas. We’re even talking A Charlie Brown’s Christmas Soundtrack, in places. Just about every famous and popular influence from the most enduring American Christmas tunes are echoed here in Behold.

If you are a Daigle fan, you know that this is not a new album (2016). This won’t deter me from acting like it’s the newest and best Christmas album ever, however. I discovered her in 2020 when she got “in trouble” for protesting Covid restrictions at Sean Feucht’s “Let Us Worship” event. That’s when I started listening to her. I will always be grateful for anyone standing up to the mob who requires compliance the way they did. But Lauren hasn’t always been on my good side either. I think this is generally the case with artists. We can’t always be right, and often aren’t. But that’s ok.

She is now a CCM darling, as she should be. She went from getting cut from American Idol to singing background for numerous bands for years, and it was only a break that got her onto an album and got her discovered. What was that album? A Christmas album. The song? “Light of the World,” from 2013. So, this album Behold was always in her wheelhouse of what she does best.

And it shows…

About CCM… I’m not always a fan. Maybe it’s due to what I see as a reticence to take artistic risks, but this doesn’t whatsoever diminish their musical craftsmanship… and her Christmas album work is an excellent example of where Nashville’s community of Christian artists shine like the light above the manger, singing praise to the King of Kings and heralding the new life that has come in God’s Son.

CCM has often been in a mild contention with traditional values, since artists often have a mercurial sense of religious doctrine, and often feel the need to be (what they call) “socially relevant”. Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith, the christened king and queen of CCM have not always faired well when the public criticizes their personal choices. But, as many of us know, this is because the modern American institution of “royal” celebrity has often refused to take the requisite responsibility in line with the same UK royals that have led the way in this scandalous public “reputational damage.” Sadly this is done without care that it may damage the country.

But, the other side to the coin exists as well. Many self-appointed judges create their own issue when they are overly critical. They see the anti-Christ behind every bush and read into things where they ought not. This kind of scrutiny follows celebrities around like the dust around Pig Pen. They forget that where there is a finger pointed, there is four fingers pointed right back at them.

Still, Hollywood’s star system (aka. our American “royals”) appear to have followed in line with the royal vestiges of UK class-warfare including all the public scrutiny for the sake of “progressive change.” That is, they are far too political. And I think, regrettably, Nashville and many in the Christian community there have felt the need to follow in their worldly path. It’s not true for most people there, of course, but it is done far too often than I’d like to think. And with some of the best celebrities, too. Let’s not forget, though, that plenty of exceptions exist there.

Lauren Daigle appears to be an exception, and do I find her work to be more impressive than her public statements? Sure. But this will always be the case for exceptional artists. It’s why famous artists are supposed to hire publicists. But I feel that while the CCM publicists often do better than Hollywood’s, due to their relative proximity to more conservative American values, you’ll find them making their share of mistakes as well.

Thankfully, we don’t have to talk about some scandal along with Daigle’s vocal stylings. Let’s hope she continues to butter that bread and works to benefit her listeners more deeply than a Hollywood publicist would know how to do, which is not at all. Keep giving us this beauty and treasure, instead.

Take a listen, and tell me if I’m wrong, but I find Lauren Daigle to be a refreshing break from celebrities who provide nothing of value to their fans.

It may sound silly, but we must remember that artists are unique people, and that this doesn’t mean that their lives are always full of elegant perfection. But, they do try to fill ours with something that is elegant and perfect, like this album.

Enjoy the Christmas cheer, everybody!

Did you enjoy the album, yule log (above) and the eggnog? (No, sorry, I couldn’t fit the eggnog onto the website. Well, maybe next year!) Anyway, this is the album I’m enjoying this year! Is there one that you’re enjoying this holiday season? Let us know!

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