Quebec Celebration Gospel Choir
Noël Divin (2011)
I close my eyes and feel as though I’ve been transported to a concert hall filled with wonderful Christmas music by a heavenly chorus. I open my eyes and here I sit, in my car, taking in harmonious French and English holiday songs from Quebec Celebration Gospel Choir’s 12-track CD, Noël Divin.
This offering is bursting with contemporary gospel flavor, thanks to superb arrangements by Michael McElroy and Joseph Joubert. The heavily orchestrated tracks feature a jubilant version of “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” churchy enough for Sunday morning–Chicago style, and a lovely soft pop rendering of “Minuit, Chrétiens” (“O Holy Night”), both performed by the choir’s founder, soprano Fernande Angers.
Just as exultant is “Joy to the World,” with its majestic horn prelude. This hand-clapper would’ve fit perfectly on the soundtrack of a Penny Marshall-directed Christmas movie starring Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington. Slowing the pace but not the continuity is the moving “Noel Noel.” The song’s lyrical structure coupled with the choir’s execution are reminiscent of Kirk Franklin and the Family (minus Kirk’s spoken-word lead).
Among the year’s better holiday music projects, Noël Divin invokes the true spirit of the season, resonating delightfully with gospel listeners and choir enthusiasts.
“Minuit, Chrétiens” – “Go Tell It on the Mountain” – “Noel Noel”
SMOKIN’ (4 of 5 Stars)
Libra Nicole Boyd, PhD is a musician, award-winning author, gospel music aficionado, and the founder and editor of Gospel Music Fever™. Her commitment to journalistic integrity includes bringing you reliable gospel music content that uplifts and advances the art form. Libra is presently working on several scholarly projects about gospel music in the media as well as gospel music in social movements.