Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: November 25th 2022
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Favourite Part About Christmas
- Te Toi O Te Kirihimete / Favourite Part About Christmas
One of the most powerful, inspiring, vulnerable, and honest artists that I have heard throughout my life, is New Zealand singer/songwriter Stan Walker. I reviewed Stan’s 2018 worship EP here, and you can read about Stan on Wikipedia if you want; but for those of you all who want/need a refresher, here it is. Having debuted his profound, personal, honest, inspiring, emotional and moving documentary on Channel 9 in 2018, called To Hell And Back, chronicling Stan’s own journey battling stomach cancer, and the subsequent removal of his stomach in 2017, leading to his adjustment to his diet, but still a testimony of God’s goodness and His providence; Stan may as well have been known globally as ‘the kid who got cancer and then survived’. But there’s more to the artist than the near tragedy, as Stan is one of today’s most inspiring and soulful singer/songwriters, in Australia and New Zealand markets.
Way back in 2009, Stan Walker won Australian Idol, and the rest is history. With the fame and the record deal from Sony came several albums, hit singles (inclusive of “Unbroken”, “Black Box”, “Let The Music Play” and “Choose You”), awards, and accolades, bringing him to the highest of heights, but for everything to come crashing down within the last couple of years after his cancer diagnosis. For me, I had never really noticed Stan’s music early on in his career (a few songs here and there!) however the track that really grabbed my attention was a song from Stan’s most recent EP Stan EP, titled “I Surrender”, signifying the total giving up on control over to God with relation to Stan’s illness. However, what made this song so inspiring and captivating to me is that this track can be about surrendering any part of ourselves over to God, letting Him have control of our lives- Him taking the driver’s seat. It’s relatable and relevant to anyone who wrestles with the concept of God knowing better than us; and you can read more about it in my review of his 2018 EP.
Coming into Christmas in around about a week, this Christmas is special to many of us, or maybe all of us. It’s the first Christmas in 3 years that there is some semblance of normalcy, as the past few Christmases have been ‘wrecked’ by COVID-19. And as such, we have a lot to be grateful and thankful to God for. For Stan, his gratitude and thanks are evident in his latest original Christmas song “Favourite Part About Christmas”. With the single also comprising of a part English and part Maori version of the song, “Favourite Part About Christmas” is a track that speaks volumes, and highlights the family aspect of Christmas. And as Stan eloquently and passionately reiterates that the thing he loves about Christmas is that the entire family is present together and celebrating in the season with friends and family that he hasn’t seen for a long time; this song encourages us to find the true meaning of Christmas- as we realise that it is enjoying the company of family and friends, and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ- the Saviour of the world.
I once saw Stan Walker at the airport in 2009, and though we didn’t talk all that much, I sensed he was quite a real and authentic guy. 13 years later, and Stan has continued to be real and authentic. His 2018 worship EP is a highlight to me, and this original Christmas song now is proof of his infectious joy and satisfaction in Jesus- Stan’s music is a must listen for any who love gospel music or worship music or jazz music or Australian music, or some combination. While I do not know how the future will pan out for Stan and whether he will break into the U.S. market or not; I am confident that Stan will continue to win souls for Jesus. Well done, I can’t wait to hear the next full-length album!
RIYL: Hillsong UNITED, Jessica Mauboy, Guy Sebastian, Paul Colman Trio, Newsboys