Entertainment Weekly - 12/8/00, pp.96,98
3 stockings out of 4 - "...Sounds like a cocktail party at Natalie Cole's than church with Mahalia Jackson....classy, middle-of-the-road fare..."
Personnel includes: Yolanda Adams (vocals); Paul Jackson (guitar); Susan Chatman, Marisa McLeod, Don Palmer (violin); Michele Nardone, Robin Ross (viola); Miguel Martinez, Kevan Torfeh (cello); Greg Phillinganes (piano); Wayne Linsey (keyboards); Rickey Grundy (organ); Larry Kimpel (bass); Ricky Lawson (drums).
Engineers: Eric Zobler, Dave Rideau, Buster & Shavoni.
Recorded at The Embassy Studios, North Hollywood, California.
Though she's generally regarded as a gospel artist, Yolanda Adams has always had a pop/R&B edge to her music. So this album of Yuletide standards, which might have sounded stodgy or cliched in the hands of a more traditional singer, bears an undeniable freshness and contemporary quality. That's not to say that we're in Kelis territory here; Adams' R&B influences seem to be of '70s vintage, and she often bears the jazzy soul touch that one might hear in an artist of that era. Nevertheless, when she wraps her impressive pipes around chestnuts such as "Little Drummer Boy" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," one can hear both her reverence for the material and her skillful bending of the melody to her musical will.