Release date: October 2012
Joy is the fourth Christmas record by Contemporary Christian singer-songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman, released on October 16, 2012 through Provident Label Group. The record is a collaborative effort with friend and producer Brent Milligan.
This Christmas CD, however, is particularly meaningful to Chapman: "Many know that the last few years have been a difficult journey for my family and me following the loss of our daughter Maria," says Chapman. "So many have prayed for us and encouraged us, and having the opportunity to write, record and share this new music really feels like the beginning of a new season... a season of joy."
"Even as hard as things have been, it's like the sweet is starting to outweigh the bitter for us more and more," Chapman explains. "Christmas is becoming a less hard thing for us each year. It's not that it's easier to get through because we are forgetting. It's like we can remember now without it just being so painful and the memories can be sweet."
Among the album's 13 tracks are six new songs including first single "Christmas Time Again," "Christmas in Kentucky," inspired by Chapman's home state, and "Christmas Kiss," written for his wife Mary Beth. Recording Joy also gave Chapman a chance to record some of his longtime favorites like "Joy to the World," "We Three Kings," "What Child Is This?" and "Christmas Time Is Here," from the animated classic "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
In recording Joy, Chapman, Milligan and some of Nashville's finest musicians traveled to a studio in Lexington, Ky. to allow for total focus on creating the right Christmas vibe. "We found this great studio in Lexington, Ky. (my birth state!) and gathered together some of my favorite players, slept over in the rooms there, set up a Christmas tree (I wore my favorite Charlie Brown Christmas t-shirts everyday) and went at it."