Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A New Thought For Christmas

Christmas is here!!! At least in my heart it's now officially Christmas everyday. Except for devoted Christians, I think nowadays Christmas isn't so much about the birth of Jesus anymore. Jesus wasn't exactly born on December 25th, anyway. Christmas now represents all the good things the birth of Jesus brings: hope for humankind, love - as the basic of all his teachings, and peace on earth, like it is in heaven. For me it'll always be like that. And whenever I feel so much hope, love, and peace in my heart, it's Christmas time!

No word can express my excitement when I heard that Melissa's gonna make a Christmas album, and I read this:

"What if someone made a Christmas album for everybody else? That's exactly what Melissa Etheridge has done. Working alongside her producer David Cole, Melissa's songs celebrate a spiritual time of year where people can rejoice in their traditional, or non-traditional ways, and celebrate a winter solstice filled with love and peace. This ten song album has newly composed songs such as "Ring The Bells," "Light A Light," and "It's Christmas Time" interspersed with traditional holiday standards such as "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "Blue Christmas." This album begs the question, "If we're all talking about peace on earth, what if we all concentrated on peace on earth and made it happen?""

I waited like crazy before I finally found the album... illegally. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Melissa... but I've tried, ok, I've gone to every place that sells CDs within the range of my knowledge, money, and foot strength. It made me wonder to no end how on earth some people in my country have got their hands on the CD and sproud the rips while it's only been out in USA for 13 days and in Holland for 3 days... and it's hard to find the CD, many people in the forum said so. Well, whatever, anyway I'm thankfull cause finally I could listen to my most cherished Christmas album ever. Nothing less than what I hoped Melissa would deliver. Oh well, I wished there were more songs in the album and more Melissa's original. :p

1. Blue Christmas
I dare say I'm never a blues music fan. But I used to say I was never a rock 'n roll fan either. Well, never say never in case of music - and Melissa, I guess. If she start to sing dangdut I might fall in love with dangdut too. Lol. FYI, dangdut is the music of my country. Lol. Well, you can searched for more information online. Not that I'm discriminating dangdut music, but I take offense of most of its music and lyrics, more often than not, it's degrading women. Back to the blues, I've never heard 'Blue Christmas' being sung so bluesy. Beautiful, Mel, beautiful. I can imagine listening to this song on Christmas eve at home when it's raining outside. If I heard this song six or seven years ago, it'd be perfect with my mood. Lol. For now it's just really really relaxing.

2. Glorious
From the first time I listened to this song (30 seconds sample from I knew I'm gonna love it. Indeed I loooooove it. The first song in the album that's Melissa's original, and it's simply gorgeous. It's a... I don't know what to call it, but it's using some melody from 'Gloria in Exelcis Deo'. But the lyric is 'loooooove, looooove, loooooove, it's glorious'. What struck me the most of the lyric is 'Believe in heavenly peace'. The second I hear that line being sung, I realize that I do believe in heavenly peace.

3. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Ah, the happiness of Christmas! Melissa absolutely rocks this classic and I can almost hear her smiling and having a blast singing this song. Jumpy and everything, much like a lover being excited and can't wait for the other lover to come home. Beautiful, beautiful, and FUN!!! Absolutely love it!

4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
The first time I read that this song will be in the album, I almost cried. I've ever listened to Melissa singing this song, on Camp Christmas 1993, and though it was group-singing, I could hear Melissa's voice so clearly. I thought it was probably a traditional Christmas song most fitted to Melissa's voice. And damn, I'm right a big time! It's absolutely divine! Absolutely my favorite of this album. Well, besides 'Glorious', 'Ring The Bells', 'Christmas'... well, forget it. I've tried a zillion times to try and find my absolute favorite Melissa's song and failed. But dammit, I really really really love this one!

5. Ring The Bells
I've blogged about this one, haven't I? Oh well, I don't care, I'll write praises again and again for this song. I love this song more than just musically, but considering that it's sung (and written) by an American and a Pakistan. And it's not just that. The music blends. Some may get confused at first, 'Huh? An Arabian music in a Christmas album?' Well it started that way, but as the song goes on, it's not just Arabian music, it's a beautiful blend between a Christmas-ish song and an Islamic religious song. But it's beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! It's really all about peace. It's about 'let's go further now than we've ever gone before'. "I know peace begins with me." "Ring the bells, ring the bells of change. Ring the bells, every boy and every girl. Ring the bells, ring the bells of peace, all over the world." To Salman and Melissa: you guys ROCK!!!!!

6. Merry Christmas Baby
Damn, I should've expected this. In every album, Melissa ALWAYS puts in a sexy song. Lol. This is a classic though I've never heard it before. Again I can almost see Melissa grinning while she recorded this song. It's indeed fun. I don't love this song as much as the others, but it's still gonna be on my playlist for a while.

7. Christmas In America
I've loved this song since I first heard it as a music video interpretation a fan made. I can imagine how the mothers, wives, and families of the soldiers in Iraq must feel when they listen to this song on Christmas. "It's Christmas all around here, you're in someone else's land. So I send my only wish, hey Santa, tell the man. Hey mister, send my baby home, this December I don't wanna be all alone. Oh, Christmas in America, I need you in my arms, far away from harm.
Mister, send my baby home." And a message of peace: "What happens to the peace on earth, all the goodwill towards men? Oh c'mon all ye faithful, it's time to think again."

8. Light a Light
'Tis the season of change. The title of this song is the most haunting one from the track list. Everytime I light the candles where I work, I chant 'light a light' like a mantra. Dunno why, really. But here's the message that really makes me want to light a light in my own heart: "Heaven is inside, it's all around, not just above. Choose only love." Just a glimpse of information to help you appreciate the 'choose only love' part: Melissa always believes that there are only two main forces and/or feelings in this world, one is love and the other is fear. Every choice we make is based on those two basic feelings, and everytime we should choose only love, cause it will bring us to the truth, and the truer we're being to ourselves, the better the outcome in the long term will be. Be strong, speak true, eh?

9. It's Christmas Time
Ah, the straight rockin' song. I don't have to learn to dance, all I need is Melissa's grooving songs! Lol. Fa lalalalala, it's Christmas time!!! Happy groovin'.

10. O Night Divine
I read lots of review about Philip's guitar solo to 'O Holy Night' but unfortunately I'm not gifted with the ability to appreciate electric guitar. Anyway, 'O Holy Night' actually has a special memory for me, but Melissa doesn't sing it. She sings something else, I don't know if it's her original or it's a classic, but that song has the same chord progression with 'O Holy Night' and ends with 'O night diviiiiiiiiiiine' which Melissa sings oh so divinely. Anyway, a beautiful ending to a beautiful Christmas album.

I so waaaant to write so much more about Christmas and about this album, but it's almost dawn so I'd better sleep. Some of the songs here could lull me to the dreamland and make me sleep like a baby. Oh well. Sleep in heavenly peace, huh? I hope you all will sleep in heavenly peace too tonight. Goodnight, and sleep tight.

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