There’s something about a great Christmas album that transcends time and becomes part of the soundtrack for holiday memories for years to come. Paul Cardall has crafted such an album with his stunning new collection Christmas, his first Christmas album in 13 years. Christmas is officially available Friday, November 2.
Cardall has a massive world-wide audience and is known for his expansive musical performances that encompass multiple genres, including classical crossover, contemporary Christian and new age, Cardall has earned 4 No. 1 albums on the Billboard charts, amassed more than two billion lifetime digital streams and continually earns over 25 million streams monthly. His most recent number 1 album was last week when “Sunday” hit the top of Billboard’s New Age chart.
Cardall, who generally produces his own albums, this time tapped Michael W. Smith’s longtime musical director Jim Daneker as producer for the substantial project. “This is the first time in 20 years I’ve worked with a producer,” Cardall notes. “I’ve always been a fan of Michael’s music, and the opportunity to work with Jim gave me the moment to take my music to the next level.”
“When I first took this on this project I thought it would be easy because it’s a piano record,” Daneker adds. “But it’s not been easy. It’s been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. So much hangs on every little note, every texture, every detail. We’re focused on the centerpiece, which is Paul’s piano, but ideally we made something just blossom out of that. This is one of the best-sounding, if not THE best-sounding Christmas record I’ve ever heard.” Christmas was recorded at Nashville’s historic Ocean Way Studio.
“I believe this is the first Christmas album in the classical crossover genre that captures all of the emotions people experience during the season,” Cardall says. “You’ll find 10 piano-centered classics embraced by a symphonic soundtrack in the spirit of John Williams, one of my favorite composers. The album runs the gamut of emotions. It is serene, relaxing, peaceful and inspiring, while at the same time being evocative, thrilling, powerful and breathtaking.”
Anchoring the project is CeCe Winans’ extraordinary version of “O Holy Night.” “I’ve been waiting and working hard to find just the right opportunity to give to my audience something extraordinary, and CeCe performing ‘O Holy Night’ is unbelievable,” enthuses Cardall. “CeCe is the best gift I can give my fans this Christmas.”
Christmas includes ten of Cardall’s stunning instrumental interpretations of such timeless classics as “Hark The Herald Angels Sing,” “Joy to the World” and “Away in a Manger.” In addition to Winans, Cardall invited two other vocalists to make appearances. Award-winning singer/songwriter Audrey Assad offers an ethereal interpretation of “In the Bleak Midwinter,” and Australian Broadway star Patrice Tipoki soars on Cardall’s original “Son Of God.” “This song is so much bigger than the notes on the page,” states Tipoki. “Paul and Jim and [mastering engineer] Michael Bishop have done a wonderful job in bringing new life to a song that has already touched so many people.”
Creating a memorable Christmas collection was a personal mission for Cardall. “The heart of all my music is the whole reason we celebrate Christmas,” he shares. “The holiday brings people together — strangers, family. We all long to be with each other. This album speaks volumes about those emotions. With all our differences, we come together, have a meal, make a toast and celebrate joy, gratitude, the Christ child…all of it. This is the purpose and mission of all my music.”