“Jesus Happy Birthday” from Jeffrey Li

Christmas music can delight fans in several ways. Some fans like to listen to holiday tunes year-round, and then there are those that once Turkey Day concludes, it’s nonstop “Last Christmas or “All I Want For Christmas Is You” until December 31st. Still, there are music lovers that want something more spiritual, more uplifting during this most holy of times for religious followers. One such song that is worthy of all listeners, but will likely be played more with non-secular music fans, is the truly remarkable hit “Jesus Happy Birthday” from singer extraordinaire, Jeffrey Li.

Li, who shot to international fame after making appearances on NBC’s America’s Got Talent and NBC’s Little Big Shots, has accrued millions of YouTube views with his versions of “You Raise Me Up” and “One Moment In Time”. While the views and social media clicks have racked up, it’s easy to think that maybe his story is always going to be about America’s Got Talent or that he’s a young phenom.

Within moments you will understand why he chose a Josh Groban song to sing, but just wait for even more magic to unfold. I don’t think that’s fair. While listening to “Jesus Happy Birthday” something began to emerge between the lines, a sense of ownership in the song. When it’s an original song, I think it gives Li a chance to really make it on his terms. Time will tell, of course, and he’s only 15, but as a reviewer I’m tasked with giving my opinions, even if it means the story is still unfolding before our ears. I think Li has a chance to be one of the greatest singers to come out of Toronto and make a global impact. I’m impressed that chose a song such as “Jesus Happy Birthday” and to communicate to his audience on a seasonal song. I think that in itself shows profound excellence.

He lost me in just a few lines as to what he was saying. Truth be told, I got a little wrapped up in the spirit of the song and it took my mind to scene of children playing in the snow and all the trimmings on the tree. A few of his words are just slightly hard to discern, but that is more on my end then his. He sings with such beauty I’m embarrassed that I actually wrote that. We praise and lift him up, forever he will always be the king, Li sings. He really belts it out as if he were the lead vocalist in a choir. This is the song that should be heard during midnight mass on Christmas Eve. This is the song that the angles were singing about.

I loved Li’s vocal prowess and his pacing. He could have easily made this song a different tempo or made it more modern sounding with poppier embellishments. It’s perfect the way it is and it is the right song vehicle for a singer of his stature. He’s on his way, that’s for sure.

Michael Rand

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