Once again, Vince Gill
rises above the commonplace and delivers a project of supreme substance and divine emotion. This holiday offering is one of the best in recent years and comparable to the popular holiday recordings of Crosby
, and Elvis
. As far as contemporary Christmas music is concerned, Gill
, backed by Patrick Williams & His Orchestra
, manages to keep tradition vibrant and immediate. Uptempo tunes such as "Winter Wonderland," "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!," and "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" complement more sacred offerings like "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "O Holy Night," and "O Come All Ye Faithful." Especially good is Gill
's version of the rock & roll "Blue Christmas," as are his "Silver Bells" and the title cut. He also gives an essential and fundamentally emotional performance on "The Christmas Song" that seems to transcend time, space, and religious affiliation to create a moment of recorded music that is wholly and completely Christmas. Encompassing both the sacred and secular in this instant elevates Gill
's performance here to classic status. Moreover, he has never sounded as rich, warm, and substantial as he does on this gift of holiday music. Experience never looked, felt, or sounded so good.