Capitol Christian Music Group
Release Date: October 29th 2021
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- I Still Believe In Christmas
- Kentucky Fried Christmas
- Just Because It’s Christmas
If you’re listening to an artist for the first time, trying to figure out their sound and what they’re all about; do you go in with high, low or no expectations? Well, I guess you’d say it depends on whether the artist you’re listening to for the first time, actually is a new artist or is a veteran- and then they’d have a reputation; and you will have a higher expectation than with a completely new artist. Regardless, Anne Wilson (one of the latest signees to Capitol Christian Music Group), is sure to have a bright future. Though I did have some expectations of this young woman of God (considering that she has signed to one of CCM’s most reputable record labels); it is her storytelling, her effervescent optimism, her steadfast faith and her immense love for Jesus that has won me over as a fan! With Anne singing in public in front of a crowd for the first time at her brother’s funeral- and her garnering a record label deal that way when the video went viral (way back in 2017); Anne’s unwavering faith in Jesus is the backbone of her debut single “My Jesus”. Released as a package of 3 songs in the middle of April this year in 2021, Anne’s joy and overflowing hope is sure to win even the most hardened of sceptics- and even as Anne wears us all down by her joyous demeanour, let us remember that we are watching a star in the making- and someone we all want to root for! While we have indeed reviewed this ‘single’, also comprising of “Devil” and “Something About That Name”; we also voiced our opinions this year about Anne’s live EP. A live project in Nashville (not with a crowd but live in a studio) called My Jesus (Live In Nashville) – EP, we are met with a vibrant, emotive, personal and honest batch of songs, where Anne delivers her already previously released three singles with intense passion, as well as an all-new track “No Place Like Home” and a cover of Little Big Town’s “Boondocks”. And now that you’ve read these two reviews, heard Anne’s songs, seen her extremely encouraging testimony… you’re a fan now, right? Well, if you’re still unsure, then Anne’s new Christmas EP is something that could, should and hopefully will engage you thoroughly and comfort you immensely. Comprising of 3 original songs, I Still Believe In Christmas provides us hope, joy, fun and immersion in the festive, holiday spirit; as we worship God because He just is, even in the midst of trials and suffering.
‘I Still Believe In Christmas’ is a song of the hope we have in Our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus. It can be hard to cling to hope in the middle of the world we are in right now, but we have to choose to still believe in the miracle of Christmas. I pray this song leads you closer to Jesus and fills you with His love and comfort during this holiday season. ‘Kentucky Fried Christmas’ captures my Kentucky heart. Growing up in Kentucky, Christmas was always the most beautiful time of the year filled with so much joy and lots of KFC. I hope you love this song as much as I do!
As short as Anne’s EP is, this release is nonetheless comforting, resonating, hopeful, inspiring and engaging; as Anne lifts up Jesus’ name and presents us with the true reason for the season. The title track is a powerful, moving ballad, where Anne confidently and assuredly proclaims that she believes in the true message of Christmas and of Jesus, and that ‘…for God so loved this broken world, He sent His only son, to a carpenter and a teenage girl to show us all His love, He left His home in heaven to make heaven my home, my Emmanuel is with me and I’ll never be alone, down here my heart can’t find much to believe in, but I still believe in Christmas…’; and for me is the heartbeat of the album, and my personal highlight as well. For a Christmas release to say off the bat the true meaning of Christmas… well, it’s pretty bold and kudos for Anne for not watering down and wavering in her faith. “Kentucky Fried Christmas”, a fun, joyful and engaging country/bluegrass melody, presents the very many unique holiday traditions Anne and her family have during Christmas in her hometown of Kentucky; while the short but punchy EP ends with the contemplative and reflective ballad “Just Because It’s Christmas”. It’s a heartbreaking acoustic guitar led melody that speaks about how we as people are allowed to feel hurt, pain and heartache around Christmas time, and everything doesn’t actually have to be perfect; while Anne powerfully relays that we can bring our pain to Jesus and let Him take control of our lives, that ‘…bring your wounded heart to the manger, fall down at the feet of the king, when thrills of hope don’t find you, He loves you just the same, you don’t have to be ok just because it’s Christmas…’.
I look back at where I was a year ago and I’m undone by God’s faithfulness. This year has been such a season of change for me. Every new experience takes me by storm and I wrestle with how to adapt to it. I don’t know about y’all but for me, change is very difficult. I’m prone to stay where it’s comfortable and familiar.
I love how The Lord is consistent and steady and never changing. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He’s taught me that no matter what season I have to walk through, He is always there. The same. HE is my comfort and my Rock. He is The One who stays right by me when all else shifts. His JOY is MY strength.
Is there anything more to say about Anne Wilson and her burgeoning impact in the CCM industry? With Anne having already made her stage debut at the Grand Ole Opry in September this year; I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a future full length debut project since We The Kingdom and their songs! So drop everything and hear about this young star in the making. Seriously! Go do it. Right now! No other excuses needed! Alright, so what do you think? Well done Anne, I seriously cannot wait to hear what God has in store for you next! Maybe a hymns album or a full-on country album… that’d be cool!
3 songs to listen to: All of them!
RIYL: We The Kingdom, Chris Tomlin,. Matt Redman, Matthew West, Tenth Avenue North, Crowder