Reviewed by Phil Thomson
Probably the most infectious kids' album ever. Certainly one of the most ambitious - not the least due to the vision, dedication and generosity of a whole host of contributors, enabled by a veritable legion of co-workers. Here's (roughly) how it works. Travel up the Amazon, way out of mobile reach; find the children from the villages, record them singing, work with them, give them time and hope and love, coach them and ultimately take them back to Manaus, the capital city of the Amazonas for a recording session and a life-changing experience. All this through the good grace and sacrificial work of Ray Of Hope, a contemporary misson outreach to the region. There's a book's worth here if you read between the lines of the jacket notes, and the project has yielded quite outstanding results. What do I find so refreshing? No silly kids' songs: just the delight of sensitively recorded classic worship tracks as you will never have heard them before - "We Want To See Jesus Lifted Up", "Father God I Wonder", "Light Of The World", "Blessed Be Your Name" with the kids singing and Margaret Becker leading from time to time - and there, tucked away amongst them all, a little give-away classic of its own "Colours Of Day (Light Up The Fire)". Truly there is no doubting Mr Paculabo's durability, and particularly his work as a true music missionary, this time with family, friends and the inspiration of the producer who started it all, Chris Donohue. They all must have worked tirelessly to achieve such an outcome. You don't have to wrestle with the Portuguese language either; the children alternate with their native tongue, but it's all there in the book. Thanks to M-Audio, there is also ample atmospheric on-the-spot material recorded deep in the jungle, way beyond the plug-ins. Indeed, the remarkable resourcefulness of everyone engaged in this product can hardly be measured or appreciated at one encounter. But you can go some way towards it by listening in. . .and catching the wonder. Very impressive.
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