STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 120206-18673 LABEL: Stylos FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
After a break of some five years in which CCM hitmaker Fernando Ortega changed direction to become an Anglican music minister, he returned to releasing albums in 2011 with this breathtaking set of songs influenced by the hymnal and choral circles in which he now moves. Perhaps due to the fact that the singer/pianist had a much more hands-on involvement in the recording process together with a lack of major label involvement, this is arguably Ortega's most intimate release to date and, one suspects, the kind of album he's wanted to make in a long time. Featuring Ortega's trademark warm vocal delivery and his equally warm piano playing, occasionally accompanied by some subtle backing, tracks like "Just As I Am", "The Good Shepherd" and a beautiful rendition of the title hymn simply shine and gently pay tribute to God in a way that is both striking and unassuming at the same time. Elsewhere, the inclusion of choral interludes such as "Kyrie II", "The King Of Love My Shepherd Is" and "Sanctus" featuring the wonderful Milikin University Choir Ensemble from Illinois is a stroke of genius and lends an ethereal tone to proceedings whilst Ortega's piano instrumental "Of The Father's Love Begotten" is nothing less than spine-tingling.
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