"Pretend It's Christmas" is a yuletide release by Indiana-based musician Paul Parnell, and it is also his inaugural effort as a recording artist. In addition to providing the vocals, Paul served as composer and lyricist, and played piano and Hammond B3 organ. "Pretend It's Christmas" is an admirable effort from a multi-faceted musician.
Paul has a strong voice with a good bari-tenor range. The opening album namesake track immediately displays Paul's strength as a vocalist, and throughout the album the more spiritual songs are supported by the power and purity of his voice.
Paul's songwriting is founded in the Christian rather than the secular aspect of the holiday, with most of the songs exploring the spiritual side. However, my two favorite songs were "Christmas Indiana" and "I Found My Christmas Baby", the two most secular and least religious songs on the record. These were more creative, and relied less on standard phraseology. Oddly enough, Paul's vocals did not display the power and range on these as well as on the others. So, while the songwriting was average on the more religious songs, they were more indicative of his vocal talent.
Modern, contemporary Christian music is not a genre to my musical taste. However, Paul Parnell very competently performs his songs, and he will find his audience. He is an emerging artist, and will improve his songwriting skills. Most importantly, especially for a new artist, is that Paul's reverence and passion for this project are evident. For that, I admire Paul Parnell.
For more information about Paul Parnell and to hear selections from his CD, please visit his website: http://paulparnellmusic.com/home/
This CD was provided to me as a promotional item.