STYLE: Hymnody RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 18166-11302 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Over the years this particular reviewer has heard at least some of the hymns presented here performed with reggae, house music, country, Celtic and even heavy metal accompaniments, not to mention the dozens of choir-and-organ and congregation-and-organ renditions which clog up the catalogues of record companies both Christian and mainstream. So all power to the Santa Ana, California-based singer and seminar speaker Jilleen that she can breathe life into a set of public domain evergreens ("Praise To The Lord The Almighty The King Of Creation", "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross", "Fairest Lord Jesus" and "Softly And Tenderly") thanks in part to a crisp production from Jeff Nelson. The producer manages to put together arrangements that are brightly contemporary but never take unwise liberties with the source material. Jilleen's voice is bright and pure-toned, a little like Twila Paris, and her sensitive readings of these oldies bring a new devotional dimension to these oft recorded songs of praise. She, Jeff and the fine Nashville musos here are even able to take the undeniably corny melody of "Jesus Loves Me This I Know" and with clever phrasing and an understated acoustic accompaniment bring out the sublime simplicity of the lyrics. A superior hymns album.
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