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Christmas Light (CD)



Reviewed by David MacGregor.

AYODELE (pronounced eye-yo-deli) is a Nigerian-Australian singer-songwriter.

Her name means "Joy had come into the house".

Ayodele is a seasoned performer of over 17 years including supporting the Grammy-nominated "Mary Mary" and performances in the USA, Canada, France, and Singapore and at Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit.

This professionalism comes through strongly in this collection of traditional and contemporary Christmas music.

Production values are excellent as is the quality of Ayodele's voice and backing musicians.

Ayodele's style reminds me of that of Beyonce or Mariah Carey.

Her vocals are indeed worthy of her name and the God she serves.

Despite this, I ponder: when it comes to Christmas recordings, it is very much a matter of personal taste.

Regardless of a song's vintage, I prefer arrangements which are somewhat sparse, allowing the text and meaning of these lyrics to shine through. With "Christmas Light" and its eight tracks, I found the backing and vocal variations too easily getting in the way of my enjoyment of much-loved carols.

As a musician, I have a healthy regard for those wishing to breathe new life into "old" words and tunes.

However, "less-is-more" production and vocals would have enhanced my listening and worship experience. Silent Night (originally in waltz-time and with guitar accompaniment, so it's said) has undergone the sort of re-arrangement perhaps not really needed.

With simple guitar or keyboard backing, Ayodele's wonderful voice would have done superb justice to the song in its traditional form.

That said, if you like your Christmas music coming from a singer with deep Christian faith and with lively, full-on, top-quality backing and a bit of a soul/R&B flavour, this one's for you; including two self-penned tracks I will go and I Believe!