Jo Dee Messina - A Joyful Noise (Curb Records, 2002)
Jo Dee Messina's A Joyful Noise is just about a perfect Christmas record. Although she's a "country" artist (not that there's anything wrong with that), there's no hint of the country sound on here at all - just pop/rock arrangements featuring Messina's great voice. The songs are all well chosen, seven popular songs, then three a bit more religious (but not too much so, "O Holy Night," "Silent Night," "What Child is This"), and then an original, the title track. All the arrangements and performances are dead on. I give it a big thumbs up.