Christmas is about God having the last word.
One Silent Night: An FFH Christmas
Artist: FFH (www.ffh.net)
Length: 10 tracks/38.9 minutes
Satan wants sin, shame and tragedy to be the last word. But as Michael Card put it in “The Final Word”:
"He (God) spoke the Incarnation and then so was born the Son.
His final word was Jesus, He needed no other one.
Spoke flesh and blood so He could bleed and make a way Divine.
And so was born the baby who would die to make it mine."
God has the last word, and it is Jesus.
It is the same word that FFH invites us to consider on One Silent Night. This goes beyond the celebration of a birth to the thought found in the familiar refrain, “Let all the earth receive her King.” No Christian contemplation of the birth of Jesus is complete apart from touching on the reason for it.
FFH does not disappoint in this regard. Mixed among seasonal standards and carols are four original songs, which all have spiritual depth. They take us from the manger to the cross, to the recognition that Christ is the long-awaited successor to the throne of David, Israel’s popular king. Unlike the latter, Christ’s reign will never end. He is King of an eternal kingdom.
What intrigues are the new settings created for these themes. “Let all the earth receive her King” is part of the chorus of “One Silent Night,” which in its title references another popular Christmas carol. The song ends with the refrain “O come, let us adore Him.” Electric guitar propels “Winter Wonderland” into an upbeat pop song, which segues into a brief excursion of “The Little Drummer Boy.”
The crowning achievement comes on the finale “Heaven and Nature Sing.” This combines verses from John 1 with phrases from “Joy to the World.” Here the harmonizing is at its best on a simple but gorgeous tune.
This husband and wife duo alternate singing lead throughout, but in the opening “Baby it’s Cold Outside” they banter back and forth in a way that fully realizes the romantic nature of the song.
Jennifer Deibler takes the lead on two of my favorite Christmas songs, “O Come O Come Immanuel” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” The former appropriately has stripped-back production and more of an ancient feel, being acoustic with cello and flutes. The focus is on the solemn lyrics. This emphasis continues on the latter with a bit more production that includes a shimmering guitar.
This release also provides the opportunity for the effective use of violin, which is featured on a couple of tracks.
This is FFH’s first Christmas release, which was four years in the making.