Joanne Hogg - Personal

Published Wednesday 15th October 2008
Joanne Hogg - Personal
Joanne Hogg - Personal

STYLE: Celtic
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 47014-14588
LABEL: Kingsway Music KMCD2883
RELEASE DATE: 2008-07-18
RRP: £13.00

Reviewed by Simon Redfern

This latest solo project from Iona's lead vocalist brings a collection of 10 songs that stem from a deep and prolonged time of Joanne seeking and being hungry for a very real experience of God's presence; her hope being to impart some of that hunger through these songs. Well it certainly achieves that without a shadow of a doubt as from the outset, the lyrics reach down and are likely to grab anyone who has ever sought the God's presence. Without exception I found myself connecting to all the tracks, especially "Forgive Me", "I Was Sad In Church Today" and "Waiting" thinking "Yes, I've been there too" and "Wow, I'm so glad it's not just me"! This is a very chilled-out CD which given the title it's not wrong to expect and although touted as Celtic, the music doesn't have any distinct leaning towards the Celtic or any other direction. I have to say that despite the excellent musicianship and Joanne's wonderfully smooth vocals, I found the melodies a touch too prosaic, lacking the sparkle of Iona's best material. The strong point of this CD has to be that goose-bump-inducing voice on lyrics that can only come from such a voyage of discovery.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Darren Mangold in nottingham @ 11:22 on Oct 23 2009

Joanne Hogg- Personal

Simply honest and beautiful in arrangement, ‘Personal’ hits the mark for contemplative worship. Joanne’s artistry and lyrical talent positively shine through, introspectively reflecting Gods glory - 10 tracks of solid inspiration!

Darren Mangold

Posted by Claire Board in Kettering @ 09:47 on Jan 19 2009

I was fortunate enough to have been able to see Joanne perform these songs live before I got the album and I was moved to tears by her honesty, willing vulnerability and apparantly effortless talent. I have to admit I was ignorant of much of Iona's music, and had not heard Joanne's name before, but I was truly blown away by her musicianship and the beautiful, inspiring, meaningful and yet totally REAL lyrics which speak truth to my soul. This is the cd that I reach for when I need to cry out to God, when I crave His forgiveness, when I want to be in His presence and even just when I want to have a nice soak in the bath! I would recommend it to anyone who is wanting to get closer to God in a real, honest and unpretentious way.

Posted by Christine Robertson in West Sussex @ 16:15 on Nov 28 2008

I bought this album a couple of months ago. I've been a fan of Iona for many years and of Joanne Hoggs amazing voice. I didn't know what to expect but I wasn't expecting it to be 'Iona' in style or content, although there are hints of this in the song 'Dancing' for instance.
This album is ministering to me, convicting me, and is putting words to a similar hunger in me to draw nearer to God to experience the 'more' of the first track on the album. Buy it and be blessed : - )

Posted by Craig in US @ 18:44 on Oct 4 2008

As a big fan of Iona, I think I expected Personal to have a similar sound. But as the previous reviewer mentions, it doesn't. It is not, for example, what I would call progressive. Because of these expectations, it was only after listening to it several times, over several months, that I finally "got" it. Now I am quite impressed with this album. Personal is an apt title; Joanne really seems to share her struggles, hopes, and immense joys through this album. Partly as a result of that, I find it reminds me of a psalm.
As the last reviewer mentioned, I agree that the lyrics are deep, but certainly not pretentious. Their meaning is clear and overt; what they are saying, however, is quite profound.
Overall, I would say that this album is encouraging and uplifting. It is about communing with a sister in Christ; sharing her struggles and joys. It may take a while to "get" that, but when you do, I would say that it is quite worth it.

Posted by Wolfgang Elste in Germany @ 17:01 on Aug 21 2008

After I bought this cd on my way home I showed it to a friend who is an Iona fan and he asked does this cd has a celtic sound like Joanna Hogg's Band Iona or is it more kind of popmusic. I listened to the cd at home and I have to admit it didn't sound very much like Iona, it's more very well produced popmusic. But it is also very deep, personal, honest and vulnerable worship music. This cd is really something special possibly even deeper and more personal than the beautiful music of Iona.

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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