Friday, December 04, 2009

Yancy's "Fancy" Christmas review

One of my favorite things about traveling with the SuperStart team for three tours was the people that I worked with. Seriously, the people they have on stage and behind the scenes know preteens. They get these kids and understand just how to communicate the gospel in ways that stick.

During my final year on the SuperStart team, I was blessed with the opportunity to share the stage with a worship leader named Yancy. We share a common northeastern Oklahoma upbringing but only one of us qualifies as a talented musician. While I couldn’t wait to hear her new Christmas album I can't tell you I wasn't a little skeptical.

It’s nothing against Yancy. She is the real deal. It’s just that people are weird about Christmas songs. They are like Christmas movies I guess. If you are anything like me, you probably watch the same movies each holiday season. Each year you laugh at the same Chevy Chase jokes and cry when Santa shows up on 34th Street. I know a guy who writes out a schedule the day after Thanksgiving to make sure he is able to fit in every movie before the 25th. I’m not that strict. After all, do you really have to watch the Santa Clause 2 every year?

Here’s the problem. Your pickiness has made your Christmas music collection a little dusty. Fact: Your mom still listens to that one Amy Grant album where she is wearing the awesome Christmas sweater. She also still listens to the one where Amy is scratching her forehead on a tree. Fact: My mom still listens to the Mariah Carey Christmas CD from the 90’s. Confession: I still remember the first time I saw Mariah’s CD cover in 7th grade. So whatever your Christmas tradition, or umm… memory, I guess you could say that we’re set in our ways. We like routine, especially around the holidays.

Yet with this CD, Yancy is able to prove that tradition is overrated. While most of the songs are remake, you have never heard any of them like this. For example, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is one of my personal favorite Christmas songs. I have heard so many covers through the years that I thought it would be difficult to infuse any freshness in it. Yet Yancy makes it her own. Bottom line: it’s fresh, it’s catchy, and it’s Yancy. And it gives you an idea of what the rest of the collection feels like.

Other high notes include “Wonderful Christmastime”, which I confess I used to hate. It’s not that I don’t like Sir Paul. It’s just that I worked at the GAP one holiday season. It played in the store a lot… no seriously, a lot. Several years later, Yancy is able to breath new life into it. She probably wore fur while doing it. I rather enjoy that irony.

“Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas” is a great original. It gets better each time I listen to it. “The Greatest Gift” is solid. I could have done without the "Medley" however. It seems a little chaotic and unnecessary. It gets skipped each time it plays through. Ouch. I would have been much happier with another classic remake. In my opinion, that's the only miss on the CD. “Angels we have Heard on High” is an outstanding cover and a very original interpretation.

All that to say, it’s probably about time to put a fresh sound in your worn out Christmas play list. “Have a Fancy Yancy Christmas” is a great start. I hope you allow these songs to become the soundtrack of Christmas for years to come. If you do, you won’t be due for an upgrade for at least 15 years.

You can get it at Amazon, itunes, or

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