What’s Up: CD REVIEWS

by: 

Rick Campbell
Jul 7, 2005

One of Christian music’s leading ladies returns with her 20th studio recording, the sequel to her 2002 gold-certified disc Legacy…Hymns & Faith. On this newest collection of inspirational hymns and worship tunes, you’ll find Amy Grant creating contemporary versions of many classic hymns. Blending a variety of musical styles (gospel, blues, pop and country) and enlisting the help of husband Vince Gill and producer Brown Bannister, Grant creates a refreshing collection of powerful songs that exceeds that of the 2002 offering. The disc includes thirteen tracks, with some of the hymns dating back more than a couple hundred years, and included are a couple of surprises.

Rock of Ages…Hymns & Faith starts off with the upbeat, country gospel-tinged “Anywhere With Jesus”, and then rolls gently into the beautiful and comforting “Carry You”. The latter mentioned track, which is song from God’s perspective, is clearly one of Grant’s best songs to date. “Sweet Will of God” and “Joyful, Joyful” follow next, along with a new medley of “Helping Hands” (from her ’95 CD House of Love). The medley, which I got to hear for the first time on her summer ’04 tour, infuses the hit with “Jesus Loves Me” and “They’ll Know We Are Christians.” This one will surely be a concert favorite for years to come. Grant teams up with Vince for a duet on the disc’s title track, “Rock Of Ages.” On the contemporary-styled classic, the pair are backed by the Fairfield Four, a legendary gospel quartet. All of the track's elements add up to make this one of the projects true standouts. You’ll also find noteworthy tracks such as “O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee”, “Abide With Me”, “God Moves In A Mysterious Way/The Lord Is In His Holy Temple” and “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” The disc ends with a remake of the classic “El Shaddai”, which I’m sure most fans will approve of (including myself), along with a reworked version of “I Surrender All” and the closing “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go.”

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