Bebo Norman “Come and Worship” “Joy to the World”
If I could be any musical artist, I would Bebo Norman. His songwriting skills coupled with the way he sees the world, enable him to musically capture emotion and translate that into song. His acoustic style, similar to James Taylor, gives his music a singer songwriter feel. That would be my brand of music if I were an artist.
Norman’s Christmas disc, released in October of 2007, is a great soundtrack for the holiday season. The two songs I pulled off this disc, both written a couple of hundreds of years ago, highlight Norman’s arranging skills as an artist. These two tracks, which kick off the disc, are sung in churches during the Christmas season, but not the way Bebo has recorded them. Bebo took the tempo of “Come and Worship” and slowed it down tremendously. On first listening, I did not recognize this familiar hymn. Lush instrumentation coupled with the slower meter, transform this song into a stirring ballad. To me, it sounded like a brand new track! “Joy to the world” is similar. Norman did not play with the tempo, but instead tweaked the tune and lyrics in such a way to give the track a fresh new feel. Please do not get me wrong; neither song needed to be rewritten. They are both classics straight out of the hymnal, but Bebo took both hymns and with a slight tweak has created some beautiful new Christmas music. Warning: If you are a purist when it comes to your yuletide hymns, then steer clear of these two songs, Bebo’s artistic license may hurt your Christmas cheer!