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Lincoln Brewster, Joy To the World - Review

Lincoln Brewster, Joy To the World - Review

By Joel Paul on November 27, 2012

Lincoln Brewster’s first Christmas album, Joy to the World, is majestic! This is definitely a Christmas album to add to your collection. You might find yourself listening to this as you cuddle up on your couch with your family in front of a warm fireplace. The crackle of the firewood mixed with the energetic melodies from this album will make for a fantastic night.

The intriguing and creative arrangements bring classic songs about the birth of Jesus into the modern musical age.

Brewster’s lead guitar work on this album is phenomenal, yet it is not overwhelming. His leads are added very tastefully but not so prevalent to be annoying. Brewster can shred the guitar fret board. This is no secret, but he doesn’t show off those skills for the sake of showing off. His guitar playing on this album adds sonic character, quality, and depth.

On the title track, a driving guitar introduces us to the excitement and joy of a Savior born to reign. The stripped down first verse crescendos to a joyful proclamation of the wonders of his love. During the interlude we are treated to the guitar mastery of Lincoln Brewster. It is a great start to a Christmas album.

To start “Little Drummer Boy” a snare drum establishes the tone and groove of the song. The mix of distorted guitar driven by the bass and snare drum culminate in a new, unique, and interesting melodic texture for a classic song. The contrast of the bridge is accentuated with KJ-52 rapping, “While he sleeps so sweet, we give up the glory to God because of the greatest gift of love; it was wrapped in a manger so we lift up Hosanna in the Highest.” It is a great addition to the piece, and continues to drive home the event of our Savior’s birth.

Half way through this album, we are treated to an extraordinary piece titled “Miraculum”. This is where Brewster shines. While it is an instrumental, and may not get rotation on radio stations, this piece is worthy of extensive play on radio. It starts somber and soft with a veiled drum kit, robust strings, and striking piano. An emotive guitar tone comes in with the melody of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman”. As I listen to this song, I imagine myself travelling the Middle Eastern landscape with the wise men on their journey to worship the new born King.

“Silent Night” concludes this album with a depth of emotion most artists do not capture on recordings. It is a reverent reminder of the night Jesus was born. Brewster’s voice is less polished from a production standpoint which gives it a gritty authenticity. The dual guitars interacting with each other give this piece a great deal of emotion.

Lincoln Brewster is a tremendous blessing to God’s church, and he has given the church a great resource in this Christmas album. I’ve been listening to it non-stop for several days, and this is likely to continue past Christmas day.

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Joel Paul

Joel Paul

Joel grew up in Kansas City and began playing music at an early age. While his first musical lessons were for the accordion, he found his passion with guitar, mixed in a few years of flute, and has picked up bass the last three years. A husband for twenty years, and the father of two teenagers he plays bass and guitar as part of a praise team at a local congregation in the midtown corridor of Kansas City.