Wednesday, December 13, 2017

David Hernandez-This Christmas (2009)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: December 13, 2017

My third Christmas gift of the holiday season comes wrapped in a small package.....but with a very big surprise hidden inside. That would be "This Christmas", a special five-track EP released by former "American Idol" contestant David Hernandez and, if my information is correct, his very first collection of professional recordings following his appearance on the show's seventh season. In recent months, I've taken it upon myself to feature more and more of these past young stars from the various reality televised music shows—both here on my home soil and internationally&mddash;as while the official winners have gone on to enjoy successful recording contracts,I believe the other talents shouldn't be forgotten. David's rendition of the song that also serves as this EP's title is another excellent effort to add to the list of the many contemporary pop covers that have been done of the classic 70's original; it seems no family Christmas gathering cannot be complete without hearing somebody soulfully singing "This Christmas" playing on somebody's tabletop radio. He opts for a gentler approach on the always-humbling and always-touching "Mary Did You Know?" and "O Holy Night" (why do I myself often forgetting the words following 'O holy night, the stars are brightly shining', considering the gazillion times I've heard this one?) while it'a skippy, merry walking-through-the-winter-wonderland affair served up on his piano-jazzy take on "Let It Snow" (isn't this one like the perfect song to warm you up on a cold winter night?). Then as for that 'hidden surprise' I mentioned at the outset, that would be his marvelous cover of "You Raise Me Up", which one might not expect to find on a holiday album, but totally fits the season's themes of peace, warmth and love. I've heard so many covers of "You Raise Me Up" that I sometimes forget the original was actually performed by the New Age/electronic group called SECRET GARDEN. Of course, many listeners in the mainstream contemporary music world adore and know the Josh Groban version of it well, but David's cover, which begins with a very calmed and refined delivery before exploding into the majestic grand of a finale at the end, equally deserves praises:

1. This Christmas
2. Mary Did You Know?
3. Let It Snow
4. You Raise Me Up
5. O Holy Night

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