Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

12 February 2010

Can you trust a CD of hymns?

I'm pretty loyal when it comes to CDs.  A few years ago it this...

And then two years ago it was this...

And then last year it was this...

One CD seems to take my attention at a time. 

And here is the test of good CD.  Listen to it almost exclusively for a year or more.  When at last you have finally overdone it, put it away for time.  Down the track pull it out and put it on again.  If, even after its previous hammering, it moves you as it once did - to joy, to tears, to love God more - it is a good CD.  These three all stood up to the test of time.

But can you trust a complition of hymns?  Not always. I've listened to a few that have been scarring experiences.  I still shudder at the memory!  And the title of this one...
The Best Modern Hymns
...well, that would scare me off in an instant.  So it's a good thing my husband bought it and played it before I saw the title!  It is now loaded onto my iPod and I listen to it a lot. This will be the CD of the year for me.

In fact this one comes with three CDs featuring 50 hymns in total.  It was produced in England in 2008.  It includes some of the modern classics like "How Deep the Father's Love" and "In Christ Alone."  There are some of those older hymns in their modern guises like "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less".  In some cases they have taken a dear old hymn like "It is well with my Soul", written new words and music for the verses and blended the new material into the original chorus.  And there are some which I assume are just new.  I have to say that there is a small handful of songs that are not to my taste but that is going to happen in a collection of fifty songs. But for the other 45 hymns, this is a GREAT collection.

To my ears it is well produced.  The balance between instruments and voices is good - one doesn't overwhelm the other.  The instrumental arrangements are terrific.  And the vocal performances are plain and unfussy (no jazzing about, they just sing the songs) but they are beautifully interpreted and well delivered. The overall sound is clean and crisp.  And the words...the words are inspiring.

This is a CD that invites joy, comfort, challenge, worship.  If you love God, singing in church and good music, you will probably enjoy this collection.  This is a CD of hymns I think you can trust.


Stephanie said...

This CD arrived in the post today. Put it on straight way. Love it. Thankyou!

Meredith said...

Steph - so glad that it arrived. I have been putting off doing this post until today, just in case you took my recommendation too seriously and went out and bought it straight away before I had a chance to give it to you. The delivery took longer than I thought it would!!

I'm so pleased you like it. You always come to mind when I hear "It is well with my Soul." I hope it becomes a treasure for you.

Love your photo.


Natalie said...

Hi Meredith,
Its great to see that Sovereign Grace music has made its way to Australia (I listen to it over here in the UK, but found it through the Mahaney Girl Talk website). Do you know if there are many Aussie churches playing their music? My husband and I are moving back to Australia in June (Brisbane) and hope to find a good church that still values the odd Christ-honouring hymn. I'll have a listen to your new CD on iTunes...

Meredith said...

Hi Natalie,

Thanks so much for dropping by and for leaving a comment. Great to have you visit.

I know that there are churches here in the West who are singing Sovereign Grace music and I would have to assume that this is also the case on the eastern seaboard. However what I can do is leave a comment with Simone who blogs from Brisbane and is almost the heartbeat of music there and ask her to leave a comment here with direct news from Brisbane. So keep an eye on this post for updated comments and we will see if we can get a good answer for you. It may take a while...I think Simone is having computer issues at the moment.

In the meantime, does anyone else have any info?

Simone R. said...

Hi Natalie.

Our church values Christ-honouring hymns! We also sing quite a bit of Sovereign Grace and other (hand picked) modern stuff. (SG is sung in a good number of Australian churches.) If you want to facebook me feel free (my surname is Richardson - same picture as on my blog) and I can suggest a handful of churches that might be good. Do you know where you'll be living?


Meredith - thanks. Computer is working for now. On its last legs. Crashes whenever we plug anything in the usb port. Grrrr!

Meredith said...

Hope that helps Natalie.
Thanks Simone. Hope the computer hangs in there until you are able to get another.