The David/Asaph Project - Pastoral Psalms (Revised & Remastered)

Published Saturday 9th June 2018
The David/Asaph Project - Pastoral Psalms (Revised & Remastered)
The David/Asaph Project - Pastoral Psalms (Revised & Remastered)

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 170212-25535
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

Some 14 years in the making, Dallas-based singer/composer David Albracht has once again teamed up with producer John Piper to offer up interpretations of the so-called pastoral psalms that have been credited to Old Testament writers King David and Asaph. As the sleevenotes point out, Albracht and Piper have honed in on the pastoral aspect of the subject matter and acoustic instruments such as piano, mandolin, 'cello and some light percussion help to paint a rural picture with gentle expertise whilst Albracht draws directly from the King James Version to give the lyrics an ornate quality. There is an abstract and organic feel to proceedings with songs sometimes changing shape midway through and some lovely interplay between instruments helping to give tracks like the "Psalm 5 - 3rd Movement" a fluid jazz feel. Elsewhere, an intricate reading of "Psalm 43" possesses a gentle bossa nova tinge whilst a tender string section adorns the obligatory yet welcome "Psalm 23". Albracht takes on the lion's share of the vocal duties and, although his higher end tenor voice is most definitely pleasing on the ear, his enunciation is such that it's very difficult to make out what he's singing without referring to the liner note lyrics - something that detracts significantly from the end product. In addition, each track tends to meld into one due to a general lack of vocal and instrumental variety - a problem easily solved by bringing in a couple of extra vocalists to shake things up or even employing the wonderful Collegium Musicum of London Chamber Choir on more than just an alternate version of "Psalm 23".

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