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With eight days left before Christmas, I wanted to spend today looking at several new Christmas albums on the shelves this season - perhaps a last minute gift guide for those who love Christmas music.

This is review number seven today and the third that arrived at my P.O. Box. A big thank you to Glenn Holmes from On Target Media for sending us this.

My wife has been watching me come home as of late with packages from Kasio Kristmas and Verve Remixed and dozens of homemade Christmas comps from friends and others alike. Her quote was "When do you get the GOOD Christmas music?"

The look on her face when I opened this package and this brand new Christmas CD fell out was one of total astonishment, joy, and excitement. She's a HUGE Amy Grant fan and I knew this was going to get played early and often on the CD boombox at my house.

Amy Grant released her first Christmas album when she was the Queen of Christian radio back in 1983 with "A Christmas Album". Several years later when she went mainstream, she released "Home For Christmas" in 1992. Then in 1998, we were treated with "A Christmas To Remember".

Now a fourth Christmas collection?

To quote Amy in her liner notes: "In The Christmas Collection, I've chosen my favorite songs from my earlier projects and added four new recordings." Aha! Those four new songs are:


1.) Jingle Bells (Track 1)
A remake of Barbra Streisand's classic arrangement right down to Bab's vocal inflections. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery never sounded so good.

2.) I Need A Silent Night (Track 3)
A great Christmas song that asks pertinent questions about the lost message of Christmas (fast forward to 0:35):

3.) Baby It's Christmas (Track 5)
Written with husband Vince Gill (who plays guitar = bonus), this is a perfect "end of a Christmas day" song, full of the exhaustion and wonderment only these weeks before Christmas can bring.

4.) Count Your Blessings (Track 7)
With the London Session Orchestra behind her, Amy sings Bing's song from the 1954 Irving Berlin movie "White Christmas". Lush and majestic.

If you don't own anything Christmas related by Amy Grant, this CD is a great collection for your archives. The four new Christmas songs are definite highlights - especially "I Need A Silent Night".

This one got my wife's endorsement - what more do you need?