Carrie Underwood’s early Christmas present: ‘My Gift’
Sophia Michetti | Monday, October 5, 2020
I am a firm believer in not listening to Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving. The Christmas season is the most special time of the year and celebrating early just ruins the excitement of the season coming near. So, when Carrie Underwood released a Christmas album on Sept. 25, three months before the holiday, it was worth investigating.
Many songs on “My Gift” feature acoustic guitar, and there was less piano than I personally would have liked for a Christmas album. Many songs such as “Sweet Baby Jesus,” “Away in a Manger” and “Mary, Did You Know?” contain religious lyrics that focus on the birth of Jesus more so than the giving and loving nature of the season. Underwood has a few features on this album, including the always amazing John Legend. Most of the songs on the album are quite slow, but there were definitely a few bops are worth adding to your playlist.
My favorite song on “My Gift” is “Let There Be Peace.” This track is the most soulful on the album, as a choir is featured in the background, the piano takes center stage and there’s even a clapping beat at one point. On first listen, I sang along at the end, and I think anyone else listening to it would as well. The uplifting lyrics of “Let There Be Peace” talk about having a compassionate heart toward each other, as Underwood sings, “I wanna love my neighbor.” With its soulful tone, “Let There Be Peace” is different from the popular Christmas music we hear on the radio every year, so I definitely encourage all of you to check this one out if you only listen to one song on the album.
The most adorable song on the album would have to be “Little Drummer Boy.” When I first began to listen to this song, there wasn’t anything particularly special about it. A simple drum beat occupies the background as Underwood sings the lyrics we all know. It’s a nice song, but I did not expect it to be on my favorites list. That all changed when Underwood’s five-year-old son, Isaiah Fisher, sang the second set of verses. My heart melted when I heard the toddler singing along to the drumbeat, and the crescendo that came from the instrumental toward the end tied the whole song together, making it a track worthy of more than one listen.
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” is one of the songs on which Underwood’s country roots can really be heard. The acoustic guitar is what puts this song in the country genre, but it also sounds as classic as ever. Underwood’s rendition brings out the romantic nature of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” especially in the instrumental break. Her strong voice paired with the soft melody blended beautifully together, and it’s easy to picture a scene where the snow is falling outside while the fire is roaring in the living room as you listen to the song.
“My Gift” is a mixtape of Christmas songs from soulful, country and classic angles. Most of the songs on the album are ones the common car radio listener would know word for word, although Underwood tends to use the guitar as the lead instrument more often than the commonly used piano. While I love a good Christmas album, and “My Gift” should not be considered bad by any means, I do not think it’s worth breaking the “No Christmas before Thanksgiving” rule. Save it for Nov. 27, kids.
Artist: Carrie Underwood
Album: “My Gift”
Label: Capitol Records Nashville
Favorite tracks: “Let There Be Peace,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
If you like: “A Legendary Christmas,” “Glow”
Shamrocks: 3.5 out of 5