Judi Richards and her family have released a new Christmas album entitled Noël Chez Les Deschamps. The themes are family holiday traditions and personal stories.
The music is French Pop/Folk. It feels cozy and intimate – it reminds me of family dinners. The compositions are lovely and sweet. Each song has a beat suitable to the story it tells. Some songs have an upbeat sound that reflects the joys of the holiday season – for example, J’aime Noël (I love Christmas) and Joyeux temps des fêtes (Happy times of the holidays). The album also reflects Quebec culture and musical styles. That’s the case with Noël Chez Les Deschamps (Christmas at the Deschamps house), which has a classic beat associated with Quebec folk music. The upbeat songs are festive, full of cheer and pure joy.
There are also lovely ballads on the record. Noël au paradis (Christmas in Paradise), On m’a dit (They told me), Noël en dedans (Christmas inside), Devant Le Feu (in front of the fire), and Échos de nos traditions (the echoes of our traditions). The piano’s presence in all three pieces works beautifully with the sentimental aspect of each one of them.
The record has incredible music that parallels the works of Frank Sinatra and Michael Bublé. However, the album also has ballads or slow songs that reflect the lessons one learns during the holidays. A first example is On m’a dit (They tell me), which has a tone demonstrating the importance of giving, especially to children in need. Another example is Noël en dedans (Christmas inside), representing Christmas during the COVID-19 pandemic, where large gatherings are understandably impossible because the virus is very contagious.
The album ends with a nostalgic touch with the song Bye Bye with the 70s style beat that reminds me of Sylvie Vartan’s music. There’s a genuine Christmas presence throughout this remarkable record.
Judi Richards and her family members’ voices are sweet and amazing. They sing with a family dynamic, full of heart and soul. They perform the songs in perfect harmony. The tune Échos de nos traditions (the echoes of our traditions) refers to the classic o ye faithful that the Deschamps family sang remarkably. There’s a lovely piece called On m’a dit (They tell me), which starts with Yvon Deschamps and his granddaughter discussing what she wants for Christmas to learn the lesson of giving to others. The Deschamps family performs the songs with pure love and Christmas cheer.
The lyrics are personal and heartfelt. The range of subject matter goes from family celebrations, memories of previous Christmases, and remembering one’s blessing. The songs are poetic and well-written, also reflecting Quebec culture nicely. Here are the pieces that are about family and Christmas celebrations: Pour Noël (La Nuit des Nuits), J’aime Noël, Joyeux temps des fêtes, Devant le feu, Joyeux Noël grand-maman , Noël chez les Deschamps, Échos de nos traditions. The family dynamic of the tunes is sweet and relatable. It gives the record a beautiful, personal and heartwarming touch. Pour Noël (La Nuit des Nuits) (For Christmas, the night of all nights) is a moving song that comforts listeners nicely. Devant le feu (in front of the fire) is a cozy and intimate piece about relaxing with loved ones while keeping warm by the fire. Noël Chez Les Deschamps (Christmas at the Deschamps house) is an example of personal stories, such as being Yvan Deschamps’s daughter and making sure not to outshine the family patriarch. Joyeux Noël Grand-Maman (Merry Christmas, grandma) is a heartwarming piece where the grandchildren are excited to see their grandparents. Noël au Paradis (Christmas in Paradise) is a heartfelt and touching song living life to the fullest, being at a beach with loved ones. J’aime Noël (I love Christmas) Joyeux temps des fêtes (Happy times of the holidays) are enthusiastic and full of positivity. Échos de nos traditions (the echoes of our traditions) is a touching homage to Christmas classics.
Some songs also teach us what is essential about Christmas: On m’a dit, Noël en dedans, Bye Bye. On m’a dit (They tell me) is a touching one where the child learns about Christmas values through her perspective. Noël en dedans (Christmas inside) is relatable and brings comfort as this song talks about Christmas during COVID.
The album Noël Chez Les Deschamps is available.