Today’s Praise: New compilations offer taste of past and present
Caedmon’s Call looks back at 10 years of folk-flavored praise music with its new disc “Chronicles.”
The 17 tracks on this limited-edition CD present a good overview of the band’s clean, acoustic style while offering a few pop-oriented highlights.
The disc’s standouts are the familiar tunes, such as “Thankful,” “Lead of Love” and “I Will Sing/Hope to Carry On.” For a bit of fun, former member Derek Webb returned to record a new version of the twangy “Bus Driver.” However, a few tunes that the group likes to refer to as “rarities” seem like padding.
Finally, two new recordings — pop-oriented “All My Life” and “A New Day” — provide a solid bridge between Caedmon’s past and the band’s upcoming project. That disc, tentatively titled “Third World Symphony,” will draw on styles from around the world and be released this fall.
On the Web: www.caedmonscall.com.
Members of Caedmon’s Call had a hand in another CD out this season, “The Christ: His Passion.”
This disc is one of the many products that hit the stores in conjunction with the movie “The Passion of the Christ.” It offers a combination of new and traditional songs that tell the story of the Crucifixion and surrounding events. The songs are performed by a wide selection of prominent Christian artists, including Cliff and Danielle Young of Caedmon’s, as well as Webb.
Overall, the disc has an adult-contemporary feel, with pleasant music and pleasant voices. There’s nothing spectacular but plenty that’s appealing.
The most-engaging tracks frequently feature the sweet voice of Leigh Nash of Sixpence None the Richer. These include “Kyrie Eleison,” “With Every Breath” and “Beautiful Scandalous Night.” Other solid tracks include “Yes I Will,” with Bebo Norman and Joy Williams, and “Jesus Went to the Garden,” with Derri Daugherty of The Choir, Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay, Paul Coleman and Sara Groves.
The biggest problem with the disc is that it doesn’t really seem to have a narrative flow. Each of the songs has something to do with Jesus’ last 24 hours but I’m not sure why “Communion” — dealing with the Last Supper — is near the end, instead of at the beginning, and why a song that prominently mentions the Resurrection is the second on the disc.
A more chronological arrangement would have made the disc seem more like it’s presenting a story rather than simply a collection of praise music.
The CD is the first in a three-disc collection of music related to the story of Jesus. Plans call for follow-up discs covering his birth, due this fall, and his life, due next year.
On the Web: www.thechristhispassion.com.
— Today’s Praise is a roundup of news and reviews from the contemporary Christian music industry. It appears twice a month on the Religion page.