Quite many things in life make us feel good. But, none of those good feelings can equal the excitement of coming home. It is because home is where you get comfort and joy in abundant measures. ‘Homecoming’ is the kind of album I have been waiting to listen to for so long.
Dana Cunningham‘s awesome collection of some popular Christmas carols in this album makes us feel ‘Homecoming’ in a profound way. Christmas is a symbol of homecoming. On one hand, it is because we get back to our family, friends, dear ones, and our physical home for Christmas. On the other hand, we land on a rare chance to discover and unite with our original selves.
Described as ‘Songs of Comfort and Joy’, Dana’s album is a marvelous rendition of the chosen Christmas carols that kindles our spirits and reminds us of our roots. In each of these exceptionally arranged tracks, Dana has scattered enough evidence that tells us why she is an artist of a rare category. Now, let me share the experiences I picked up while relishing the album.
1. One Horse Open Sleigh (3:38)
This carol is the perfect pick you can think of for the opening track of this album. ‘One Horse Open Sleigh’ is symbolic of the homeward journey we all make to celebrate Christmas. The jingling sounds at the beginning and the end are a skilled inclusion suggesting the beginning and the end of the homebound journey. The realization that we have finally reached home excites every cell of our being.
2. Homecoming (3:32)
Named after the album title, ‘Homecoming’ gets us to experience the evergreen freshness of our sweet homes. The most powerful arrangement of piano notes in this track also has an element of nostalgia and appreciation of our original base.
3. Christmas Tree at Crystal Lake (4:58)
A representative element of winter, the Christmas tree is but a sign of divine blessings filling our lives with fabulous presents we enjoy for a lifetime. The third track is a unique member of the album that is made of soothing notes that penetrate deep inside our hearts to tell us who we really are.
4. Meditation on God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (3:30)
Despite our best efforts, ‘Rest’ in its real sense can only descend on us on account of God’s blessings. Meditation is a prelude to inviting God’s grace upon our aching souls. Blessings in turn fetch merriness. The fourth track consists of notes that are soothing, uplifting, and refreshing.
5. Lullay, My Liking (adaptation on Op. 34 No. 2 by Gustav Holst) (4:26)
An adaptation of Gustav Holst’s Op. 34 No. 2, the fifth track clears the mind of its vagaries and prepares it to fully focus on the fantastic experience that awaits you at home. You begin to feel the oneness with every element that surrounds you at home enjoying the warmth and comfort it bestows.
6. We Three Kings (5:05)
The three kings who visited Christ at his birth were among the chosen few who personally experienced the warmth of the first rays of the sun. They proclaimed to the whole world that the savior was born and is finally here to save the world. So, the theme of hope, joy, and assurance is evident in the mesmerizing notes of the sixth track.
7. What Child is This? (3:26)
When the blessed visitors had the first glimpse of the baby, they were engulfed in awe and wonder realizing that they are not with an earthly baby. The child is a descendant of the heavens and is a symbol of resurgence, resurrection, and promise to humanity. In this composition, Dana has pumped in the elements of surprise and adoration in their perfect blend.
8. He Shall Lead His Flock (4:46)
The eighth track is from Handel’s Messiah. The skilled weaving of piano notes in the track highlights the theme of assurance. The lord’s descent is endowed with a glorious mission of leading you and me on the path to the heavens and the soft melodies of this track successfully get you to be comforted by this assurance.
9. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (3:57)
Rest is the byproduct of peace and comfort. Where there is blessedness, peace and comfort follow. In the ninth track, Dana lets you reinvent the theme of this carol in a newer way. Amalgamating the themes of joy and rest together in the medium of music is a rare art only a few gifted artists like Dana can achieve.
10. Joy (3:13)
The best gift of Homecoming is the joy resulting from the discovery of our roots. The tenth track sounds brisker with pockets of bliss thrown up from the ocean of music. In using music to inspire your soul, the artist has given his best and this piece is worth listening to several times.
11. Do You Hear What I Hear? (Gloria Shayne) (3:11)
When we land the excitement of discovering our true identity, we want to share the joy with everyone around us and say aloud “We have realized the true purpose of our lives.” Whether it is an earthly or heavenly achievement, the joy is multiplied by sharing it with others and the artist has ably reinvented the theme of sharing from this famous carol.
12. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (3:47)
When we have achieved the true purpose of our lives, the discovery is to be celebrated on this earth and in heaven. The twelfth and final track of the album is a skilled musical work by Dana. The songs of the angels fan your joy and amplify it several times. As you move to the end of this track, a sense of fulfillment surrounds you, and you are left with an inexplicable bliss.
This is one of the few albums that have touched my inner being. ‘Homecoming’ left me with a rare kind of serenity that lasted for so long after listening to the album. I strongly recommend this album to you if you have a passion for inspiring music that can directly address your soul in a profound way.