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What a Wonderful Time

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Album Review

Gospel has scores of queens, leading ladies, and prophetesses, but class acts are hard to come by. Yolanda Adams is one of those rare gems, and What a Wonderful Time continues to prove it. The Christmas collection is her first album for Columbia Records, but she doesn't let the new guard change the way she does things. She continues to favor elegant urban soul with just the right amount of adult contemporary, so much so that one really has to pay attention to realize that this is, after all, a seasonal disc. Only three songs are traditional here, while the rest are all originals fashioned with Adams in mind — they're soulful, inspirational, and uplifting. This may be an issue for those who prefer their yuletide hits to sound like the holidays, which What a Wonderful Time definitely doesn't. That's because Adams is more an encourager than an entertainer, which explains the hopeful, motivational nature of cuts like "With God," "Hold On," and "Just Because," all of which would've fit gingerly on her own Mountain High...Valley Low or Day by Day albums. That's not to say she doesn't reflect the spirit or even the triviality of the holidays; the sumptuous, big-band title track finds her half-singing, half-scatting what Christmas means to her — from Jesus all the way down to baked goods. That's exactly what's endeared Adams to so many people: to her, gospel isn't just about deep, life-changing religious experiences, but also about a lifestyle — the way one lives the music long after the high of the Sunday service is gone. This makes What a Wonderful Time an enjoyable treat, not to mention one of the most unseasonable seasonal albums to come out of contemporary gospel music.

Customer Reviews

My Favorite Things...

Now, I must say that I'm a HUGE fan of Yolanda Adams. On her worst day, I'd buy her projects. But this by far supercedes anything I ever imagined she could record incorporating Christmas material, especially when considering taking that step outside of that Contemporary Gospel box and truly entertaining people, reminding them of the joy and serenity that is Christmas. This is by far my MOST FAVORITE CHRISTMAS PROJECT EVER!! Great job Yolanda!! Your voice is as crystal clear as a snowflake, the album is so smooth and continuous...I'm awed by this album!!

A Jazzy Christmas

An awesome jazzy sound for the holidays. This album includes original music as well as some classics. I love it!!!

Pure Grace

Yolanda's gift of song is like a sword cutting through to our hearts. It does not matter what she is singing, because the realness, purity, and love start way before she even starts singing. This is a CD that is a "must" to take your Holiday Season one notch higher! Her voice reflects her life.... Pure Grace!

Biography

Born: 1964 in Houston, TX

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Another in the line of gospel artists putting the soul and fervor back in R&B music, Yolanda Adams was a school teacher in Houston during the mid-'80s and occasionally did modeling work. Her mother had studied music while at college, so Adams grew up listening to jazz and classical music as well as gospel artists such as James Cleveland and the Edwin Hawkins Singers and R&B vocalists like Stevie Wonder and Nancy Wilson. Yolanda Adams' debut album, Just as I Am appeared in 1988 on Sounds of Gospel....
Full Bio

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