VARIOUS : Old Hymns New Hearts. (Elevation : ELE2185D)
Sound theology, imaginative poetry and a stirring melody are three essential elements that make a hymn great and enduring. This album delivers 12 hymns, old and new, recorded with fresh arrangements to inspire faith, offer comfort and courage and enrich your Christ-centred life. I must admit, that I found it very difficult to hear the lyrics of traditional hymns, sung to new tunes. For instance, Chris McClarney’s take on “Immortal Invisible” left me totally cold. I just didn’t like it. Neither did Chris Weninangar’s delivery of “And Can It Be” soothe my soul. However, showing a great deal of sympathy to Wesley’s original lyrics, Chris Lawson Jones gives a stomping tune to “Come, Thou long Expected Jesus.” Quite a number of the tracks a produced in a folk/pop sort of way, akin to the sound of popular UK band, Speak Brother. Songs in this genre include “The Glory Hymn” and “Alleluia He Has Loved Us.” The gravel toned vocals of Anthony Skinner open the album on “The Sound That Saved Us All.” Meanwhile, my favourite track had to be “Love, You Never Let Me Go.” Here, the wistful vocals of Savannah Ellis are pire delight, accompanied by some nice mandolin playing. Another track I enjoyed was the duet between Weninagar and Katie Gustafson on the country tinged “This I Know.” Without being outstanding, this is an fascinating concept with more positive results than negative. 7/10.