Reviewed by Trevor Raggatt
Beth Nielsen Chapman's latest offering is interesting to say the least! 10 years in the making it is inspired by the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jody Williams and others who have worked tirelessly for peace. Particularly pivotal was Archbishop Tutu's post 9/11 address when he called for all faiths to come together as a "Rainbow People of God" - all part of the one human family. This single thought runs through 'Prism's' two discs. The first disc presents a mix of original songs and traditional hymns which, as expected, showcase Chapman's always beautiful voice and deeply thought-provoking songwriting. Titles like "Prayers Of An Atheist" with its poignant lines, "...the prayers of an atheist, sent from the emptiness, even they find the way back home...", positively demand a response - both emotional and spiritual. Others stretch expectation, like the rap-folk of "My Religion (Sweet Love)". However, where things become really interesting artistically is disc two - a collection of songs of faith from different cultures, each presented in its original tongue. English, Tibetan, Hebrew, Navajo, Latin and Zulu all find their place alongside Sanskrit, Sufi chant and Welsh hymnody. While 'Prism's' multi-faith standpoint will not curry favour with most adherents of orthodox Christianity, its artistic integrity and heartfelt cry for brotherly love and tolerance in troubled times should strike a chord with all.
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