Faith Hill

Joy to the World – 2008 (Warner)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Faith Hill

Faith Hill's first Christmas album is an uptown affair, rather than any down home celebration. Making this point from the very outset, the opening title cut features a full adult choir and orchestra. Furthermore, Hill is dressed for the ball in a beautiful red gown on the disc's front cover.

The first time Hill steers away from overly philharmonic-ready material, she heads straight for swing town with horns a plenty on both Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town. and Holly Jolly Christmas.

Everything is familiar, except for the single, A Baby Changes Everything. This fine new Tim Nichols, Craig Wiseman, K.K. Wiseman song offers up a meaningful play on words. In the literal modern sense, each time a baby comes into a home, the whole family dynamic is completely rearranged. But to give it a more spiritual application, the Baby Jesus also changed the world in a big way with his arrival approximately 2000 years ago. Hill attacks this song's lyric with a full force vocal gale, which is further augmented with the added wind power of a gospel choir. And all throughout, Hill sounds just as classy as she looks.