It's a Wonderful Christmas

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It's a Wonderful Christmas
Studio album by Michael W. Smith
Released October 16, 2007
Genre Holiday, pop, instrumental
Length 39:46
Label Reunion/Sparrow
Producer Michael W. Smith, David Hamilton
Michael W. Smith chronology
Stand
(2006)
It's A Wonderful Christmas
(2007)
A New Hallelujah (2008)
Singles from It's a Wonderful Christmas
  1. "Christmas Day"
    Released: November 20, 2007
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About 4/5 stars[1]
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]
Billboard Mixed[3]
Jesus Freak Hideout 4/5 stars[4]

It's a Wonderful Christmas is an album by Christian recording artist Michael W. Smith. Released in October 2007, this epic album is Smith's third album of Christmas music and features four choirs and a 65-piece orchestra.[2] About half the album is instrumental pieces, including "What Child is This", "Audrey's Gift", and "It's a Wonderful Christmas". Vocal numbers such as "The Promise" and "Christmas Angels" reflect Smith's trademark personal touch and evoke his previous Christmas albums, Christmas (1989) and Christmastime (1998). Smith utilizes the full sound of the orchestra and choirs to produce an album that exudes a "mastery of the adult contemporary sound" and adds "so richly to the Christmas songbook."[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Michael W. Smith, except where noted. 

Album release
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Christmas Angels"     3:50
2. "It's a Wonderful Christmas"   Michael W. Smith, David Hamilton 5:05
3. "The Promise"     5:05
4. "Song for the King"     4:19
5. "Christmas Day" (featuring Mandisa)   3:20
6. "A Highland Carol"     2:18
7. "Sing Noel, Sing Hallelujah"     3:40
8. "What Child Is This?"   Traditional 4:48
9. "Son of God"     2:53
10. "Audrey’s Gift"     1:49
11. "All Year Long"     2:39
Total length:
39:46

Credits[edit]

Music
  • Michael W. Smith: vocals (1,3,5,7,9,11), piano (1-5,8,9,10), arrangements
  • The London Session Orchestra: orchestra
  • Perry Montague-Mason: concertmaster
  • Orchestra contractors: Isobel Griffiths & Charlotte Matthews
  • David Hamilton: string conductor, orchestra arrangement (1,2,3,7,8,9,11), choir arrangement (1,3,5,7,9), rhythm track arrangement (11), Hammond B3 organ (5), piano (11), synthesizer (1,5), celeste (5)
  • Ronn Huff: orchestra arrangement (6)
  • Carl Marsh: orchestra arrangement (1,5)
  • Adam Lester: electric guitars (1,5)
  • Skip Cleavinger: Highland bagpipes & penny whistle (6), low whistle (8)
  • David Davidson: violin solo (4)
  • James Gregory: bass guitar (1,5)
  • Craig Nelson: upright bass (11)
  • Sam Bacco: Scottish snare drum & bass drum (6)
  • Paul Leim: drums (1,5,11)
  • Mandisa: vocals (5)
  • Bonnie Keen: backing vocals (11)
  • The Choristers of Reigate St. Mary's: boychoir (3,9); John Tobin: choirmaster
  • The Nashville Choir: choir (1,3,7,9); John Coates: choir director
  • Children's Choir (1,5); Sandy Hamilton: choir director, assisted by Kathy Goodrich & Marie Morris
  • New Cumberland Choir: choir (3,7,9); Greg Thomas: choir contractor
Production
  • Producers: Michael W. Smith & David Hamilton
  • Executive Producers: Michael Blanton & Michael W. Smith
  • Production Manager: Ken Johnson
  • Librerian & Production Assistant: Melissa Leonelli
  • Music Preparation: Mike & Lori Casteel, Ric Domenico & Eberhard Ramm
  • Orchestra recorded by Humberto Gatica & Andrew Dudman
  • Boychoir recorded by Andrew Dudman, assisted by Dominic Christie & Scrap Marshall
  • Rhythm section recorded by Ronnie Brookshire, assisted by Mark Petaccia
  • Vocals recorded by Dave Dillbeck
  • Mandisa's vocal recorded by Derik Lee
  • Additional piano recorded by Humberto Gatica, Andrew Dudman, Fred Paragano & David Schober
  • New Cumberland Choir & Highland bagpipes recorded by Bill Whittington, assisted by Lowell Reynolds
  • The Nashville Choir & Children's Choir recorded by Doug Sarrett, assisted by Steven Beers
  • Violin solo (4) recorded by Jeff Pitzer
  • Digital Editing by David Hamilton, Jeff Cain & Dave Dillbeck
  • Mixed by David Schober, assisted by Brian Calhoon
  • Mastered by Andrew Mendelson
  • Art Direction, Stylist: Stephanie McBrayer
  • Art Direction: Tim Parker
  • Photography: Allen Clark
  • A&R Production: Michelle Box
  • A&R Coordination: Jason McArthur
  • Hair & make-up: Michealle Vanderpoolhair

Reception[edit]

It's a Wonderful Christmas sold 12,759 copies in its first week, 6,000 of them digital. The album has since sold 39,000 copies.[5]

The album was a critical success, receiving 4 stars out of 5 with every critic. However, Billboard gave the album mixed reviews.

In 2008, the album won a Dove Award for Christmas Album of the Year at the 39th GMA Dove Awards.[6]

Charts[edit]

Chart Peak
position
US Billboard 200 59
US Billboard Top Christian Albums Chart 2
US Billboard Top Pop Catalog Albums 15
US Billboard Top Holiday Albums (2007) 4
US Billboard Top Holiday Albums (2010) 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jones, Kim. About.com "It's a Wonderful Christmas". Retrieved December 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Allmusic "It's a Wonderful Christmas". Retrieved December 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ Billboard "It's a Wonderful Christmas". Retrieved December 11, 2011. 
  4. ^ Summerford, Lauren. Jesus Freak Hideout "It's a Wonderful Christmas". Retrieved December 11, 2011. 
  5. ^ Variety "It's a Wonderful Christmas". Retrieved December 11, 2011. 
  6. ^ CBN "Nominations Announced for 39th GMA Dove Awards". Retrieved December 11, 2011.