Thursday, June 25, 2009

What I'm Listening To Right Now

Literally. I'm listening to this as I type. I first saw this on Facebook about two weeks ago. It's a compilation of classic hymns done in modern ways, a production of several bands out of Mars Hill church in Seattle. To put it simply, it's a great album, and the songs are done respectfully and with a lot of talent and creativity, considering it's usually difficult to make something really good (hymns) better (the modern rendition of the hymns). But I think these arrangers and bands nailed this one.

I was able to get the album for free, because I told five people about the album. You can do likewise here.

I seriously recommend that you check this album out. The hymns are great, and the new renditions are great. Although I will admit that it did take some getting used to for a few of them. For example, I wasn't a huge fan of the renditions of "I Sing The Mighty Power of God" or "The Solid Rock" at first, but they have really grown on me. The arrangement of "What Wondrous Love Is This" is perhaps the best I've ever heard (although the key could've probably been raised a half step). In fact, I plan to tweak the Rain City version a bit and make it into a 12 bar blues song. I first heard this rendition during the Mars Hill live broadcast of their Good Friday service, and I was blown away by it. (UPDATE: The version of "What Wondrous Love is This" that is on the Rain City Hymnal is NOT the really cool one - although it is also very good. Check out the version by the band "Red Letter" here) "Softly And Tenderly" is also very well done, as well as "All Creatures Of Our God And King." It really rocks, which in my opinion, it should! "Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son. Praise, praise the Spirit, three in one." How appropriate to be shouting those lyrics alongside a screaming, overdriven guitar and banging drums.

If you do download the album, also check out Tim Smith's explanation for rearranging ancient music into more modern styles. I think he's right on.

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