Reviewed by Alan Smith
Nashville again folks! This is a wonderful Abba-esque vocal palette across the most beautiful band sound, orchestration and arrangement. It's all live and the worship leading by Kim is sensitive and relevant. Tracks are mostly well known; "Holy, Holy, Holy", "Blessed Be The Name", "Ancient Of Days" and others, and there's a new melody put to Charlotte Elliott's "Just As I Am" which is especially lovely. The sleeve write-up on the whole team is awesome - it reads like the credits from an MGM file - and this crew have done simply the most superb job imaginable. Worthy of special mention is Don Harris' bass sound and execution. I've never heard such accuracy, poignancy and separation. If I could get a bass sounding half so good I'd be very happy. Considering the Focus On The Family thang is 100 per cent women y'all, I'm not sure about me reviewing it. But, well, I can hardly do better than not fault it and highly recommend you get a copy.
Also reviewed in CR52:
I think we'll forgive them for hijacking the 1999 Cross Rhythms Festival theme, particularly as the Focus On The Family radio programme, hosted by Dr James Dobson, is on every weekday morning on UCB Europe! And anything involving Kim Hill - will lead me to it, because I think that gorgeous dusky contralto of hers is one of the best female voices in CCM. Anyhow, Renewing The Heart is FOTF's worshipping and equipping conference for women, and this album, whilst not actually recorded at the 1998 Nashville bash, is designed to give an impression of what went on. Most of it consists of immaculately performed covers of some of the best of old and new music, old hymns mixed in with songs by Matt Redman and Martin Smith; Brian Doerksen and Darlene Zschech, along with the title track, an up tempo anthem written by Kim with James Keaney. It's over an hour long, and whilst you might have a lot of these already in other versions, it's a good example of how praise and worship music should be performed. My favourite track is the closer, Terry and Randy Butler's "Jude Doxology", but there's plenty here to enjoy.
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
Interested in reviewing music? Find out