It’s essential to center ourselves around the birth of Jesus this time of year, and with COVID numbers increasing, it’s important to focus on the freedom we have in Christ. What better way to remember this freedom than with childlike faith? In her Christmas album, Tori Kelly gloriously reminds us of this pure and trusting faith. It’s not an entirely Christ focused album, but with seasonal songs that we all love to sing, she invites that feeling of renewed faith.
Faith in Her Foundation
Tori doesn’t shy away from her faith while delving into her songwriting and recording. In fact she proclaims that her faith is a significant part of her life. However, she doesn’t force it into her music. But, she claims that her faith is interwoven in her life experiences, therefore it comes through in her songs. She says, “People pick up on what they want to pick up on”. She knows that anyone connecting to a song that she writes is an incredible opportunity to impact a life.
Last year was hard for Tori, which was reflected by her candid Inspired by True Events album. But, God has brought healing into her life and is restoring what was broken. This renewal is evident in her 5 song EP Solitude, which was recorded in her home studio during quarantine and released in August. A Tori Kelly Christmas is the culmination of how God’s building her life up and filling her heart with joy.
With warm, inviting vocals, Tori leads listeners into the Christmas season with classics that are dear to our hearts, such as “Christmas Time is Here,” “Sleigh Ride” and “Let It Snow”. Then she adds a lighthearted and cheerful quality with the cute and playful interlude to the popular film Elf.
Tori brings her gospel roots to this album with the upbeat and uplifting powerhouse “Joy to the World/Joyful Joyful”. “Gospel was the root of everything in my house, so there’s a touch of that in everything that I do,” states Kelly. “If soul counts as a genre, I would also say that’s the common thread”. Without holding back, which is why we love Tori, she presents an utterly empowering “Go Tell It On the Mountain”. She hits a high note with “Silent Night,” “O Holy Night” and “O Come, O Come Emmanuel/Come All Ye Faithful”. She puts it all out there in a compelling and vibrant way. Tori claims that the pop element of her music comes at the very end. However, her ability to marry pop with gospel, makes her Christmas album fresh, alive and totally Tori.
Originals Inspire Us to Overcome
Her two original songs remind us of the sweeter things in life. Right now, we need that reminder. Especially with the loss of so many loved ones, and social distancing that has turned into social separation, her earnest and fervent drive in “25th” is a perfect reminder of our longing to be with one another and near loved ones in general. “The Gift that Keeps on Giving” provides a longing hope for the upcoming year, not because we long to embrace our loved ones again, but because we KNOW that love can overcome any distance, grief and trial.