Cece Winans’ Christmas album Something’s Happening! is an amazing contribution to the current landscape of contemporary gospel Christmas music. In a time where Christmas music staples are growing stale and listeners find themselves pining for something fresh, this album delivers in every category. In many ways, the album is a continuation of Winans’ new style found with her son producer, Alvin Love III. Their initial pairing garnered the mother and son duo 2018 GRAMMY Award wins (Best Gospel Song/Performance & Best Gospel Album), and 2017 GMA Dove Awards for Contemporary Gospel/Urban Recorded Song of the Year, Gospel Artist of the Year and Contemporary Gospel/Urban Album of the Year.
With that album, Let Them Fall in Love, Winans found a new sound with a 40-piece orchestra and arrangements from some of gospel’s most notable arrangers. Now, on Something’s Happening!, Alvin Love, III takes more of the helm, pairing his original compositions with arrangements of Christmas standards. The brilliance of the album is articulated in many ways as the big Nashville sound; original compositions and arrangements, intricate vocal arranging and Cece Winans’ legendary soaring voice all combine to create one of this season’s greatest musical offerings.
The album introduces five wonderful original songs, and Cece Winans gives an additional five Christmas standards her special vocal touch. One of the most magnificent songs on the album is “Grace of the Father”. It is a take on I Timothy 1:14, and an audible treat for any musical mind. Toward the middle of the song, you experience a short musical break with a few organ punches and a blistering violin solo featuring the wonder of Croatia’s Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra.
“Grace of the Father” is reprised in a flowing ballad featuring the background singers, and “Something’s Happening” comes around as the final track featuring the singers and Tim Akers on piano. This last track is reminiscent of the late Pastor Andrae’ Crouch. Naturally, you’ll want to replay the last track of the album, but like most players, the album will simply restart. Let it! Something’s Happening! is even more enjoyable the second time around. There’s a feeling that the last track could or should be the first track- an interesting feat, which will certainly keep this album on repeat for you!
There’s not a song I don’t love, on this album. This is one of the most refreshing Christmas albums to release in a very long time, which is amazing considering that this is only Winans’ second album following a 10-year hiatus from recording. I’m not sure what’s next for the Cece Winans, but for sure, something is happening, and it’s outstanding!