Hymns & Worship

I wanted to draw your attention to a few albums that I’ve been enjoying recently. Each of these albums features music that is appropriate for corporate worship and each features selections of modern or ancient hymns. Each of them is worth buying and listening to. All of the albums are available through iTunes (where I generally purchase my music these days) but they should also be available elsewhere.

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In Christ Alone: Modern Hymns Of Worship

In Christ AloneIn Christ Alone: Modern Hymns Of Worship is a brand new album by Bethany Dillon and Matt Hammitt (whom you may know as the lead vocalist of the band Sanctus Real). The album offers exactly what you’d expect if judging by the title: a selection of modern hymns. These are not just straightforward recitations of the songs, though, but are what could best be described as alt-pop adaptations. The artists come through with several different musical styles and each takes turns singing lead. Somehow it combines to make a great album. A reviewer at Christianity Today says, “those looking for more originality and lyrical depth in modern worship might enjoy this unusually crafted collection of modern hymns set to alternative pop arrangements and sung by Bethany Dillon and Matt Hammitt.”

You are probably familiar with most of the songs. The album features several tracks by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend (including, of course, the title track) along with selections by Martin Smith (of Delirious fame), Tim Hughes, Vicky Beeching and a couple of others. The songs focus primarily on the person and work of Jesus Christ, making this an ideal selection for listening to this week as we prepare for Easter.

Here is the song list:

  1. Clinging to the Cross
  2. In Christ Alone
  3. Jesus Is Lord
  4. Joy Has Dawned
  5. O Church Arise
  6. God Of Justice
  7. On The Third Day
  8. The Power Of The Cross
  9. Adoration
  10. How Deep The Father’s Love For Us
  11. In The Cross Alone I Glory
  12. The Wonder Of The Cross

I quickly fell for their arrangements of “Jesus is Lord,” “Joy Has Dawned,” “On the Third Day” and “In the Cross Alone I Glory.” But truly, there isn’t a rotten selection among them. I hadn’t anticipated enjoying this album but was glad I picked it up. It was a very pleasant surprise.

Here is the Amazon link if you are interested in listening to clips of the various songs.

Adore And Tremble

Adore and TrembleThis is an album by Daniel Renstrom, whom you probably don’t know as well as Bethany Dillon or Matt Hammitt. Matt was kind enough to send me his album a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been enjoying it a great deal. Daniel, who has a voice that reminds me a lot of Derek Webb’s, is lead worshiper for a ministry of Providence Baptist church in Raleigh North Carolina. This EP, his first, is a combination of new versions of old hymns and some original titles. All are written and performed with corporate worship in view. It was produced by Nathan Nockels (of the band Watermark).

You can find more information about the man and the album at his website, danielrenstrom.com. Here is the Amazon link if you are interested in listening to clips of the various songs.

Here is the album’s track list:

  1. Quietly
  2. Let Us Love And Sing And Wonder
  3. At The Cross
  4. Broken Cisterns
  5. Adore And Tremble
  6. Where Could I Go

See What A Morning

The MandateSee What A Morning is listed as being by “The Mandate,” whatever that is. But really, it is Stuart Townend singing a selection of his hymns and some other favorites. I guess it is drawn from a conference. Whatever the case, it has quickly become a favorite album of mine, though this may be primarily because I love the first track so much. I’ve heard several versions of “See What a Morning” but this is the best! I wish he had included a rendition of his version of Psalm 23 (easily one of his best songs but one we don’t hear often enough) but even without that it remains a very enjoyable album.

Here is the song list:

  1. See What A Morning
  2. There Is A Redeemer
  3. My Heart Is Filled With Thankfulness
  4. In Christ Alone
  5. Stand Up Stand Up For Jesus
  6. Lord I Lift Your Name On High/O Come Let Us Adore
  7. How Deep The Father’s Love For Us
  8. All My Days
  9. Jesus Be The Centre
  10. Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart
  11. Who Is There Like You/I Love You Lord
  12. Your Love

Here is the Amazon link if you are interested in listening to clips of the various songs.

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