Title - ‘A Joyful Noise’ (Curb)
Artist - Jo Dee Messina
I know it's still kind of early yet, but (finally) Jo Dee's holiday CD has got me in the spirit ! The only thing more exciting than the CD is her upcoming Christmas tour ! Jo Dee seems to stretch out her voice more than usual and at the same time, it is soft (most noticeable on "I'll Be Home For Christmas"). "Sleigh Ride" is playful and upbeat, and her version of "Let it Snow" is trademark Jo Dee sassy, especially cute on both is the pause ... then giggle at the end. Another very cool thing is the children used as background singers on "Winter Wonderland". Slightly more experienced background singers join Jo Dee on "What Child is This" (Kenny Rogers) and "Silver Bells" (Vince Gill). "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" gives me chills when I hear it as it is just Jo Dee and a piano: very touching in its simplicity. Jo Dee co-wrote "Keep the Faith" in her usual style of rising above hardships and could well just be the best song on the CD ! Also original is the title track, about the hope of the season. Masterfully produced with always wonderful work by the Nashville String Machine, Jo Dee's holiday CD is heads above the others. Her personal story and the pictures in the liner notes make this truly a must-have !