Recording artists reinterpret Christmas songs every year. Most of these songs come from the same traditional Christmas music catalog. These songs consist of “Silent Night,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Jingle Bells,” and many more. I usually just pass the new album lists and ignore half the new releases this time of year.
Yet this year, there is some new Christmas music to hear. I found new renditions of “O Holy Night,” “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” and “The Christmas Waltz” by Kimberley Locke.
Many know Kimberley Locke for the hits “8th World Wonder” and “Change.” Locke also came in 3rd runner up on American Idol’s second season. With a voice like elastic, Locke’s vocals seem to have a limitless range.
Locke’s sass and range comes out on “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.” I’m pretty sure this might be the best version recorded since the original by Brenda Lee in 1960. I dare you to listen to this track and not smile. Even the biggest scrooge will enjoy this tune.
Next, there is Locke’s jazzy take on “The Christmas Waltz.” Her vocals sore beyond what this song demands and her voice is perfectly at home in the “freedom” jazz provides. Locke’s version is classy, making me think of a bougie party with tuxes, red dresses, and fur (fake fur, of course).
Then there is Locke’s emotionally stirring version of “O Holy Night.” Her vocals tell a story beyond the birth of Jesus. She takes her voice where one wouldn’t think possible, literally turning it upside down while hitting soul stopping notes. With just a simple piano accompanying her, Locke shows how one can rejoice, struggle, and be content. The struggle in her voice is not painful, it is recollecting over heartache past while maintaining hope. That hope is in a Savior.
Locke’s new recordings prove that, done the right way, Christmas music will never go stale. They also show a new vocal side to Locke as she has unleashed a new vocal prowess. While I’m celebrating Christmas this year, I’m going to wish for more new recordings from Locke in 2018.
Check out all of Kimberley Locke’s new music here on Spotify.
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Christian. Oklahoman. American. Vinyl enthusiast.