The air is crisp, the lights twinkle, and the smell of spruce and hot chocolate permeate the air. The only thing missing is the perfect soundtrack for the season. Look no further than Lauren Daigle’s first-ever Christmas album, Behold.
Centricity Music singer/songwriter Lauren Daigle is well-known for her Grammy-nominated debut album How Can It Be. Her rich vocals find a soulful home among the jazz sounds of this New Orleans-inspired Christmas album. Daigle sings her way through many Christmas favorites with such heart and intentionality, listeners may feel as if they are hearing the songs for the first time.
She also includes an original composition titled “Light of the World”, which was written by her producers Paul Mabury and Jason Ingram. Daigle released “Light of the World” on the 2013 compilation album Christmas: Joy to the World. Her Behold version is a more mature, soul-searching recording. Both her voice and her heart seem to explore new depths.
For this project, Daigle, a New Orleans native, took the time to explore her musical roots.
Behold has taken me on a journey that was very much unexpected. When I grew up, I loved jazz music. I grew up in south Louisiana, and those sounds are very prevalent in our culture. Because of that, I kind of wanted to take time to reflect on where I’ve come from and those classic sounds that surround Christmas and use that lens to see where I could be going. It became a time of reflection that I didn’t realize was going to show me pieces of my heart that were going to come alive in the process of making this record. My heart is that everyone who listens to Behold will get to experience this same type of reflection that will bring them to a place of stillness, to look back and see where they came from and that will launch them to where they are going. (Lauren Daigle, Behold Album Trailer)
“Christmas Time is Here” is an invitation to indulge in the kind of reflection Daigle enjoyed while making this album. She slowly works her way through the lyrics. “Families drawing near // oh that we could always see such spirit through the year.” A few bars from the sax provides a respite for listeners to remember the past, embrace the present, and hope for the future.
Daigle jazzes it up with peppy versions of “Jingle Bells” and “White Christmas.” She takes the time to meander through “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” with the brass section leading the way. Sounds of holy worship rise from some of the spiritual classics such as “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Silent Night.” She certainly has the pipes to power her way through “What Child is This.” Instead, she enters the song as gentle as a lamb and finishes with the strength of a lion. Each track on Behold is handled with an attitude of reverence, showcasing the sounds and sentiments of Christmas favorites.
Lauren Daigle gave us a brand new classic this Christmas. Behold is the ideal soundtrack for holiday dinners, quiet nights by the fire, and Christmas commutes. The gentle sounds will help you and those you love to remember and cherish all that is warm and lovely about the Christmas season.