Filmed on location at the Dormition Abbey and on location in the Holy Land, Charlotte Church in the Holy Land
was originally screened over Christmas 2000 as a BBC TV Songs of Praise
special. In its 48-minute running time Church performs a selection of favourite hymns, carols and spiritual songs, including "The First Noel", "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", "Silent Night" and "O Come All Ye Faithful". These are interspersed with short clips of the young singer visiting locations associated with the Nativity. These interludes involve Charlotte discovering what it is like to wear traditional dress from the time of Christ, ride a camel and a donkey and explore the site some believe is the very place Jesus was born. Church is likeable and natural in these sections, and given how short the programme is it is a shame these have not have been extended. The 12 songs showcase Charlotte's beautiful if inevitably immature voice in rather saccharine arrangements, including "What Child is This" set to the familiar tune of "Greensleeves". Fans of her albums will love this release, which is sure to be on many Christmas present lists for years to come.
On the DVD: Presented in 4:3 TV ratio with strong picture and sound, the DVD contains a very small photo gallery, a brief biography and a discography, but mainly serves to promote the companion album, Dream a Dream. --Gary S. Dalkin