Title: O Holy Night
Artist: Nathan Pacheco
Released By: Shadow Mountain
Year Published: 2017
Reviewed by Trudy Thompson for the Association for Mormon Letters
From my earliest years I have loved, and been surrounded by, music. My mother played the piano, as did I. She sang in a church choir most of her life, as did I in my younger years. One of my Grandmothers sang hymns in her home often. The other Grandmother was a highly trained pianist, singer, and music teacher. She used to play the organ for the silent movies. She was one of the first pianists to play with Lawrence Welk in the early days of his career.
I took piano lessons from a very early age, and was self taught after the two piano teachers I had moved out of state. I took music theory classes in college, and composed several songs over the years.
I am not sure if it was this background that led me to be a bit of a “music snob,” or something else. My tastes in music are very clearly defined in my mind: My favorite music is classical music by the masters, followed by hymns-done properly, and “oldies” from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s.
I must admit, I have heard of Nathan Pacheco before, but did not know of his background nor was I sure if I had even heard his music. But when I saw he had a new CD coming out titled “O Holy Night,” I jumped at the chance to listen to it for a review, since my all time favorite Christmas carol is that song.
Make no mistake, this classically trained tenor’s first full length Christmas album is an absolute delight!
The first song is titled, ” Tornera’ la neve, which translated means “It will snow again,” with the second line being “my heart will be at peace.” This was a new song to me, but well performed. I would have liked to have seen the words printed in English on the enclosed liner notes for this selection.
The rest of the song selections are well known Christmas carols. Once again, O Holy Night moved me to tears and gave me goosebumps. The perfect blend of Mr. Pacheco’s clear tenor voice, with background vocals, and the soaring orchestration. consisting of keyboards, piano, stringed instruments, acoustic and electric guitars, delivers a dazzling and beautiful rendition of this beloved carol.
Other selections on this album include: O Come, All Ye Faithful’ O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, featuring Mairead Nesbitt; Joy To The World; What Child Is This?; Star Carol; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; Silent Night, featuring Madilyn Paige; and contemporary songs Winter Wonderland and Silver Bells. I even enjoyed this version of Silver Bells, and that is one Christmas song I have never liked before!
This album was produced by Leo-Z who has also produced for Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli. This makes for a winning combination of talent, artistry and true musicianship.
But in the end, it is the clear, angelic voice of Mr. Pacheco that sends his beautiful interpretations of these beloved Christmas carols straight to the heart.
What I appreciate most about Nathan Pacheco’s music, is that he sings with dignity, grace, and total composure, and does not feel the need to “country-fy” or “jazzify” or modernize sacred Christmas hymns. He sings with a depth of feeling that is both brillant and breathtaking. Well done, Mr. Pacheco, well done!
This album will be the perfect go-to gift this holiday season. Consider this selection for hostess gifts, neighborhood gift exchanges, visiting teaching and home teaching gifts, stocking stuffers, etc. etc. etc! You can’t go wrong with this flawless and uplifting album!