Yolanda Adams Christmas With Yolanda Adams (Elektra)
Reviewed by Christopher Gray, Fri., Dec. 22, 2000
Christmas With Yolanda Adams (Elektra)There's no disputing Yolanda Adams has the voice of an angel. It's just too bad her Christmas album's arrangements got run over by a Mannheim Steamroller. "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" is what you hear on hold with your favorite mail-order catalog; waiting-room keyboards, antiseptic drums, and bass seemingly customized for elevator speakers. Sometimes Adams' voice is so overpoweringly pure it injects a much-needed dose of real gospel passion into even these hotel-bar charts, as on the call-and-response portion of the "Carol of the Bells/What Child Is This?" medley and the end of "O Holy Night." The rest of these songs aren't anything to stand up and shout "Hallelujah" at. And trying to squeeze "Joy to the World," "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," and "Ode to Joy" all in under five minutes is just a mess. For someone who's been touted as the next in line to gospel greats Shirley Caesar and CeCe Winans -- and for someone from Houston to boot -- it's a little disappointing Adams' Christmas record doesn't have more soul.