Steve Green

Joy to the World!

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"Joy to the World" would seem to be the perfect Christmas carol to headline the first holiday record by the exuberant inspirational vocalist Steve Green. The song might just as easily be used as the title for any of Green's albums. After all, this big-voiced tenor has made a career out of expressing and exuding the joy that he believes God brought to the world through the good news of the Gospel. Green's rendition of the familiar carol is characteristically effusive and sweeping, and he belts out the final high A on "wonders of his love" in one of his trademark crescendo conclusions. Greg Nelson's production relies more heavily on keyboard accompaniment than most of Green's records, and that reliance has a tendency to date the music more than is necessary. The album also suffers somewhat from Green's enduring predilection for over-the-top bombast, which is frequently delivered on Joy to the World by the enormous fleet of background singers (31 of them in this case) that by 1987 had become a standard part of the Steve Green formula. The background crew open "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" with a particularly swollen introduction: "Hark the herald, hark the herald, hark the herald, hark the herald, ANGELS! The Angels SING!" And that's just the beginning of the song. But for those who are thoroughly immersed in the Christmas spirit, Joy to the World undoubtedly hits the perfect pitch.

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