After hearing “O Holy Night” and “I’ll be Home for Christmas” last year, I was disappointed that he didn’t have a Christmas album out. So naturally when I saw “NOEL” had been released, I had to purchase it.

As always, Josh is spectacular. But being a bit old fashioned I had hoped the music would be straight forward traditional, like his “O Holy Night” and the original “I’ll be Home for Christmas”. Josh has such a strong, clear, beautiful voice that can carry with little background accompaniment. But instead of emphasizing the beauty of this man’s voice, many of the arrangements have him competing with the overly loud instrumental/chorus accompaniments.

I would have much rather had “O Holy Night” on this CD than “The First Noel” duet with Faith Hill. As a stand alone artist Faith Hill is okay. But to pair her with Josh was a mistake. Next to him she sounds like a coyote howling in the background and is only another noisy distraction.

Overall – I still have to give this five stars because it is a beautiful CD that I will listen to over and over again (yep…8 times already). I hope he puts out another one next year…but finds someone other than David Foster to arrange and produce it.

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