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“Jesus Happy Birthday” by Jeffrey Li

On top a heavenly angel glows, an equally angelic voice sings in the new song “Jesus Happy Birthday”. That celestial voice, is Jeffrey Li. Listeners might recall Li, who as a 12-year-old, competed in Season 13 of America’s Got Talent. In just over two years, he continues to evolve. He’s now 15. What hasn’t changed is Li’s commanding performance, a feat he appears to accomplish with ease and natural poise. “Jesus Happy Birthday” brings the best out of Li’s voice and it brings the best out of all us. ‘Tis the season for holiday joy and starting it out right is Li’s “Jesus Happy Birthday”.

The song starts out with a tip-toeing piano. The keys are bright, like icicles glistening in the sunlight. The cascading ivories join hand-in-hand with an electric guitar. The guitar grips the listener, and at the song’s bridge does a quick solo riff. A hushed percussion, almost as if it were off in the distance. In my own way, I think the percussion in this song is the outside world trying to distract the soul from family and the true love surrounding Christmas. It’s just a theory. The song really has a set focus.

It’s really all about Li and the spiritual lyrics. Li sings with grace and a quiet dignity. He’s not boastful. Something about his voice makes you feel like you’re witnessing a moment. Not like ‘where were you when this happened’ but more of ‘where does this song take you each time you hear it?’ I think this song has that invisible, seismic pull that can change the face of modern Christmas music. Li, a Toronto-based artist, has the capabilities of taking the song and converting his listener to hanging on every word. I was transfixed by his voice, just absolutely assured he’s the guy to sing this. He’s literally singing about Jesus’ birthday and as a listener, I think I felt like he accomplished his goal of spreading the good word, of sharing the good news and he entertained at the same time.

Children play in the snow, Li sings with heartfelt delivery. I’d like to point out that with his age, you get the sense that he has a strong grasp of the meaning of the song. He’s really giving it his all. I think as time will go on, and perhaps this will become his signature song, I think the delivery will change for him. I say that because he will have more life experience under his belt. I think his voice will be just as strong down the road, but the way he conveys his emotions will be even stronger. We praise and lift him up, he sings. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine him in the recording studio. I felt like he really felt those words and that line. With so many pop songs trying so hard with mixes and electronic beats that overshadow a singer’s voice, it’s beyond refreshing to hear a true singer. You can almost call it a Christmas miracle.

Mindy McCall



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