Bart Millard - Hymned No 1

Published Thursday 13th October 2005
Bart Millard - Hymned No 1
Bart Millard - Hymned No 1

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13338-3040
LABEL: Fair Trade Services 000768358122
RELEASE DATE: 2005-08-01
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Tom Lennie

Must confess I was delighted to be sent this disc to be reviewed for CR as I have long had a passion for contemporary renditions of old hymns. Some of my favourite Christian tracks of all time fall into this category - tunes such as 4Him's "It Is Well" (gorgeous arrangement), David Lyle Morris's simple yet striking take of Fanny Crosby's "All The Way My Saviour Leads Me", and Amy Grant's wispy "Softly And Tenderly" each being amongst them. The essence, of course, is to give the old classics a treatment that does justice to the theme and mood of the lyrics while injecting a certain flavour that makes it stand out above other versions. Mr Millard (lead-singer of American million-selling worship band MercyMe), comes up trumps on this little gem, where he's aided variably by the likes of country star Vince Gill, Derek Webb (once of Caedmon's Call) and the pedal steel sanctified bluesman Robert Randolph. Its beauty lies both in the fact that Bart picks some interesting lesser known hymns as well as fashioned favourites, but more importantly in his adopting a different musical style on virtually every song, resulting in a most creative and pleasurable listening experience. Influences of jazz, country, inspirational and funky blues all make their presence wonderfully felt. Millard's fine vocals seem to easily adapt to each style without any sense of pretension. It really is hard to pick out a favourite as they're all so darned good! But one track that just knocks me out is the minimalist approach to the much-loved "Old Rugged Cross". Bass, slide-guitar and Millard's emotive vocals all combine to create a spell-binding effect. Everyone visiting me in the last few weeks has had to sample its sound, and there's been no note of disapproval yet! This is a wonderful album and I can't wait for Vol 2!

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Just A Closer Walk With Thee [Listen]
2. Mamaw's Song [Listen]
3. Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior [Listen]
4. Have A Little Talk With Jesus [Listen]
5. Precious Lord, Take My Hand [Listen]
6. Softly And Tenderly [Listen]
7. Sweetest Name I Know [Listen]
8. Power In The Blood [Listen]
9. My Jesus I Love Thee [Listen]
10. The Old Rugged Cross [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

Product Description
Compelled by his rich history in the church, and by hymns his Grandma sang to him as a child, Bart Millard, the voice of MercyMe, has crafted one of the most musically innovative CDs of the year. With bold interpretations, 'Hymned' is a musical fusion of Texas blues, traditional gospel, and classic southern influenced hymns featuring Bart's signature vocals.
Bart explains, 'I have a vivid memory of my grandmother, Ruby Lindsey, singing every song on this record to me. I grew up together in a church where we sang hymns every Sunday - there was no such thing as contemporary worship - these hymns were as contemporary as it got. So, when my son was born, it hit me that he probably wouldn't have these memories that we have, and it was just kind of sad to me. I hope this record will help me share these special songs with him.'

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