Artist: Richie Sambora
Album: Merry Axemas: A Guitar Christmas
Other Versions: There's a lot, this being a Christmas standard and all
I'll start by saying I love Richie's voice. If I were to put the voices of Bon Jovi members in order, it would go David > Richie > Jon. Although I wouldn't replace Jon as the lead singer for anything, it just wouldn't be right without him. So, loving Richie's voice as much as I do, I was thrilled to find out he performed one of my favorite traditional Christmas songs.
I was disappointed at first to discover it's not a vocal version - it's just him playing guitar. I'm not a big guitar fan and I'm a big Richie's voice fan, so to find there was no voice and an abundance of guitar wasn't really what I wanted.
But he won me over! This is really different from any version of O Holy Night I've ever heard. It starts out with this ominous rumbling, then in comes a solitary guitar, and it just keeps building. At one point, there is a synthesizer and guitar playing the melody and another guitar doing its own thing. The instrumental backing gives this an epic feeling that all versions of OHN need.
There are also a couple parts where the epicness dies down, it goes back to just the one guitar and it's still gorgeous. And remember this is coming from someone who doesn't really like guitar.
This is different, and it's interesting and it brings a nice variety to my Christmas playlist. Hated it at first, love it now, can't picture my Christmas music collection without it.
My Rating: 9/10