Release Date: October 14th 2016
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Little Drummer Boy
- Silent Night
Yancy has been involved in the Christian music industry for at least the past ten years, and has toured extensively with CCM’s biggest names, including Newsboys, Plumb, Sonicflood, Nichole Nordeman and Mutemath, as well as co-writing Avalon’s hit “I Don’t Want To Go”, and Jaci Velasquez’s “Something Beautiful”. With her heart evident predominately in children’s ministry, on display through her ‘kid ministry based’ music, this decision was influenced probably by her younger years as a pastor’s kid- and Yancy decided that the place that God wants her to move into is children’s music (like Aussie singer/songwriter Colin Buchanan). Countless albums, with various musical leanings from rock to pop, flowed out, from the albums Rock’N’Happy Heart, Loud And Clear, Stars Guitars And Megaphone Dreams, to her most recent album Jesus Music Box that released in March 2013; and all of them predominately focused for children and young teenagers. Also, Yancy branched out into acoustic worship, in an intimate and personal album titled Roots For The Journey, where hymns were re-recorded and slower ballads were introduced.
Now, Yancy is back with a Christmas EP, titled Little Drummer Boy. Comprising of 3 tracks (2 carols and one original track), we are immersed into the holiday spirit a mere 5 or so weeks out from Christmas, as Yancy fearlessly and powerfully sings her heart out, although the EP is a bit on the brief side. While not necessarily the most recognisable, popular or promoted artist within the Christian music circle, Yancy’s strong and honest heart for Jesus has always been present and the same no matter what she is recording. Though these three songs may sound on the ‘kiddish’ side, maybe that’s what is needed for us to rediscover our inner ‘kid’ again and unashamedly sing God’s praises during the season where some of us have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas.
While I myself prefer versions of Jars of Clay as well as Lincoln Brewster (and KJ-52); Yancy’s unique spin on the title track “Little Drummer Boy” is quite compelling and enjoyable to listen to. Driven by stirring synth and electronics, Yancy fervently relays the notion that we as Christians are somewhat ‘inadequate’ when it comes to bringing gifts to Christ, to honouring Christ and thnakking Him for coming to earth as a child. With the song being sung from the perspective of wise men and how they brought gold, frankincense and myrrh for Jesus; Yancy subtly encourages us to ‘…play my best for Him…then He smiled at me…’, reminding us that all Jesus is asking of us is not to do something lavish, but rather just open our hearts to us and be authentic and real. Just offering up ourselves to Him is more than enough, and Yancy demonstrates this fact quite nicely. With the EP ender “Silent Night” being a mid-tempo guitar led ballad that relays the notion that Jesus Christ our saviour is born, thus we can sing Him praises with all of our might and passion; the free-flowing original Christmas tune “Emmanuel” is probably one of the most inventive original Christmas melodies I have heard in a while. With the song not sounding very Christmas-y, Yancy employs a myriad of electronic and remix effects on top of synth and epic orchestral loops to create a musical masterpiece. With the lyrics themselves praising God because He is our ‘…wonderful counsellor, Lord of life, Lord of all, He is the prince of peace, mighty God, holy One, Emmanuel…’; Yancy fervently reminds us all who is indeed worthy of our praise. Well done Yancy for these three songs of encouragement during this joyous season of celebration and reflection!
Yancy’s brand new Christmas EP has certainly surprised me in a very good way, and it’s definitely a good thing she can surprise us by refusing to be labelled and placed in a box. No doubt her strength continues to be in recording music for children and young teens, and yet this Christmas EP proves that Yancy can sing plenty of other genres and still be a force to be reckoned with. Sky’s the limit for Yancy’s music in the future. And I’m sure wherever she goes will be Holy Spirit anointed. Well done for an enjoyable EP, even though it is a bit short. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for Yancy next!
3 songs to listen to: All Of Them!
RIYL: Britt Nicole, 1GN, Jamie Grace, TobyMac, The Rubyz