Reviewed by Tom Lennie
This lavishly-produced 3CD compilation is indeed "the complete works", being all 44 tracks from the four 'New Irish Hymns' recordings released in the years 2001, 03, 04 and 05 respectively (the 2004 album was a 'New Hymns' Celtic Christmas offering), although they're presented here in a highly rearranged order. The recordings, particularly the first, created quite a sensation when first released. Many have attempted to write modern hymns that capture something of the lyrical majesty, theological solidity and musical beauty of the likes of Wesley, Watts and Newton. No one, however, has succeeded in all these respects as has Keith Getty (along with one of numerous co-writers he teamed up with). To hear four of the world's finest CCM vocalists lend their diverse and tender vocals to some of the most beautiful hymns to be composed in the last 100 years or more, aided by several of the most illustrious of contemporary instrumentalists (eg, Troy Donockley, Phil Keaggy, Jason Carter and Terl Bryant, though perhaps we don't hear enough of these guys) was almost bound to be sonic delight. And so it is. To have these 44 songs carefully grouped together in an eye-catching box set is even better. Several hours of beautiful, inspirational listening - a taste of Celtic perfection.
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