Anyone who’s familiar with Kem’s triumphant and personal back-story knows that he gives much credit to his faith, so the poignant title track and sanctified, choir-featuring original, “Glorify The King,” sets the pace and makes it clear what the holidays mean to him and why Jesus’ sacrifice is all the more powerful:“Because You gave your life for me, I’ll worship you with every breath I take/The more I pray, the more I love Christmas day, and this is why I say, I’ll glorify the King.” The two romantic renderings, “A Christmas Song For You” and Kem’s sultrily-spirited duet with Ledisi, “Be Mine For Christmas,” definitely qualify as ‘curl-up-in-front-of-a roaring-fire’ moments that could spark a few new romances (or engagements) by New Year’s Eve. “Doo-Wop Christmas” wraps it all up with shine and sparkle, filled with playful finger-snaps and a Temptations-esque cascade of a cappella tenors and bass that inject mirth and underscore the real reason for the season: “Kids love presents and Santa’s alright with me (alright with me), but I really wanna tell ya what a treasure God’s love can be (love can be, yeah).”
Kem’s debut Christmas CD is not like a reindeer-covered sweater, something that you’d only be seen using once or twice a season, but like a well-chosen accessory or outfit given by that special someone that makes you gasp in delight and gets worn, then worn out, all year long. Its blend of the sensual and the sentimental, as well as Kem’s signature craftsmanship, are the factors that set apart What Christmas Means from other holiday releases and makes it essential in getting the vibe right for that family-filled day, the New-Year kiss and even beyond. Enthusiastically Recommended.