Thursday, November 15, 2018

CD Review: Rehya Stevens "Celebrate"

Around our household the past couple of years, we've spent more and more time during the (extended) holiday season with our TV on the Hallmark channels, watching the never ending stream of Christmas movies.  Say what you want, but they have a snow-lined niche in Christmas season entertainment, and they know how to execute their formula.  For me, some are better than others, but by golly they are darned happy movies :-)  And I especially liked the one where Captain Kirk showed up and transported the star of the movie into the future.  Ok, it was William Shatner playing the mystical role, but it's more fun to think of him as Captain Kirk.

Why am I talking about Hallmark movies?  Well, because indie musician Rehya Stevens, with a brand new Christmas CD titled "Celebrate" out this year, has had two of her songs placed in multiple Hallmark Christmas movies (songs and movies are listed below).


Listening to "Celebrate," one can see why Rehya's songs were picked.  She has a gorgeously smooth, pure voice, she frequently sings of holiday love, and her music has that perfect Hallmark vibe.

"Celebrate" features nine original Christmas songs, a sparkling collection of soothing, seductive, seasonal tunes.  "Happy Holiday" kicks off the album, a jazzy, soulful yet bright song tying a bit of nostalgic Christmas imagery into a song of holiday love.  "Come In From The Cold" follows, and is very melodic and refreshing.  I hesitate to say "smooth jazz", but "Come In From The Cold" is a bit jazzy, a bit smooth, and altogether wonderful.

"Jingle Jangle" is an attention-getter.  More upbeat, it hearkens to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", has a great little poppy beat, excellent lyrics, and is a wonderful vehicle for Rehya's vocals.

"Fly Past My Roof" is another ear-perker.  Leading off with a bluesy, kinda nasty (in a good way) horn section before sliding back into a slow-tempo first verse, it then drifts through a little evocative piano accompaniment before conceding to the awesome horn section once again.  It's like a little journey though the dark woods of Christmas blues, and it's terrific.  (If the metaphors don't make sense, please go have a dram of whiskey, then return to the blog - thank you!)

rehyastevens.haulix.com

All in all, "Celebrate" is a great soundtrack for a Christmas season evening at home.  Rehya Stevens shows her talent as a complete musician throughout the album.  So, pause that Hallmark Christmas movie (it'll be on again, really) and listen to "Celebrate" with a nice glass of wine.  You'll have a great evening!

Now, as occasionally happens here in the Christmas music blogosphere, good friend Stubby also reviewed "Celebrate" over at his place.  Stubby did an ab fab review and provided a lot of information about Rehya Stevens, her background, and her career.  Rather than repeat all of that over here, I'll point you over to Stubby's for a terrific post about "Celebrate":  Stubby's Review of Celebrate

One more thing before wrapping this up - Rehya's e-mail signature line contains a quite from Fred Rogers: "Deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex".  Anyone quoting Mister Rogers in their e-mail is all right by ol' Der Bingle :-)

Following is a list of the Hallmark movies that have included the songs listed below:

Hallmark Movies:
"The 12 Gifts Of Christmas," "A Prince For Christmas," "All I Want For Christmas," "Dear Secret Santa," "Christmas In Palm Springs," "Christmas Under Wraps," "A Perfect Christmas List"

Featured Songs:
"When You're With Me"


Rehya Stevens website
Rehya Stevens Facebook
Purchase CD of "Celebrate" directly from Rehya: click here
Purchase digital "Celebrate" from Amazon

2 comments:

  1. Razzleberry DressingNovember 15, 2018 at 10:20 PM

    When I saw "Hallmark movies," I had real reservations about even listening to the samples. Thankfully, I went ahead and gave them a try. This is a really great album!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Razzleberry Dressing:) It means the world! Happy Holidays!! Xo, Rehya

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