STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 166783-26342 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Chris Webb
Fernando Ortega is an Anglican minister in New Mexico after a long career in contemporary Christian music and an equally extensive discography. After a three year hiatus he recorded an album of meditative songs and Bible readings to enable personal contemplation during Lent and into Easter. Featuring him throughout on piano with a light touch string quartet backing his warm, tender vocals deftly convey a sense of adoration. The music and scriptures move through the last week of Jesus' life, the cleansing of the temple "House Of Prayer", the Garden of Gethsemane "Stay With Me Here" and the arrest and crucifixion, "Stricken, Smitten And Afflicted". "My Song Is Love Unknown", the old hymn, is provided with a new tune and departs from the remainder of the album as the music is provided by guitar, bass and drums. The backing is well controlled, understated and fitting the contemplative mood of the whole album as it swirls around Fernando's vocal and the accompanying female backing vocals to give new breath to this old classic. As an aid to personal worship, as Easter is approaching, this enables a thoughtful, peaceful but thought provoking passage through the main events of Holy Week.
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