STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 174965-28177 LABEL: Truthful Music FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
The latest release from Michigan-based singer, violinist, radio presenter and author Jean Watson begins in ethereal fashion with the Gregorian chant "Ubi Caritas" which showcases Watson's beautifully pure voice - something which adorns this collection of reworked hymns. Included are worthy new versions of old chestnuts like "Holy Holy Holy", "The Doxology" and "I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say" which, thanks to Watson's skills as a vocalist, violinist and arranger, sound fresh and new despite being familiar fare. Perhaps less well known are pieces like "St Patrick's Breastplate" and "Jesus Christ The Apple Tree" but they help cement the Celtic feel of an album that contains just the right amount of strings, pipes and synth washes - not to mention guitar and 'cello work from Phil Keaggy and Sixpence None The Richer's Matt Slocum respectively - to create an atmosphere that takes the listener to that thin place between heaven and earth. Elsewhere, Irish reels abound on the uplifting "Prepare The Way" - inspired by the hymn "Lift Up Your Head, Ye Mighty Gates" - whilst a stirring rendition of "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee" works despite a bizarrely out-of-place co-vocal from 2nd Chapter of Acts singer Matthew Ward. A perfunctory and somewhat needless instrumental version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" rounds off an otherwise subtly striking release from the multi-talented lady.
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