North Point Christmas
North Point Music
Bringing their particular level of excellence to a second Christmas release, North Point Live offers Let There Be Light, which stands pretty far ahead of the 2013 pack. Something about their congregational sensibility allows them to freshen songs, yet keep them true to their thematic intent. Maybe it’s because they are, well … worship leaders. It’s a particular skill that worship leaders cultivate every week. On Let There Be Light, this song retooling yet-thematic-integrity is best heard on songs such as on “O Holy Night” with its quiet guitar and kick drum in a stripped-down approach. But the true standouts of the offering are the three originals, in particular “Dawn Is Breaking” and “Hallelujah.” The former will serve worship leaders with new Christmas metaphors to expand their visual possibilities: light, dawn, waking up, upward movement—it’s a gorgeous congregational celebration on par with “Joy to the World” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” The opening track, “Hallelujah,” validates the entire effort of Let There Be Light. An artistic juxtaposition of the “Hallelujah Chorus” and the lyrics of “O Holy Night” with a modern musical sensibility and singable chorus, this song brings the joy and intelligent emotion of the season to the forefront of its purpose. Let There Be Light,indeed.
More: As far as worship leaders are concerned, Let There Be Light is easily one of the top Christmas releases of the past five years.
Less: After the initial couple of celebratory offerings, the tempo slows for most of the album and at times slips into a mournful tone. At the end of the setlist, they could have replaced “I’ll be Home for Christmas” with just one more worship barnburner.