Old made new – Hymns

Following on from my christmas album musings, here are a few thoughts in regards to some hymn albums. The modern hymn and worship music movement seems to be massive. There is a lot of good coming out of it, and some drivel. This is by no means exhaustive, but some that I have found rising above the rest.

My focus will be on folks who are primarily redoing old hymns as opposed to writing new ones.

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First, Fernando Ortega. My ‘Fernando Hymns’ playlist is a regular for me. The songs he has chosen to redo and the musical manner in which they are delivered is soul refreshing. I always benefit when he is on. You can buy them individually at iTunes (most of his albums will have 3-4 hymns on them), and a number of them have been combined on his Hymns of Worship CD. His latest, The Shadow of Your Wings, is fantastic the whole way through. I don’t think he can be recommended highly enough.

Next is Jars of Clay Redemption Songs. Musically, it is one of the best and most creative (probably a bigger budget than most, and they are extremely talented). And the songs one it are fantastic. Some well known, others less known, but all with superb content. 

Another fantastic album is Sandra McCraken’s The Builder and the Architect. The first 4 songs on the album are musically and lyrical some of the best around. ‘The Love of Christ is rich and free, set on his own eternally’. ‘Grace Upon Grace’ is a song based upon a prayer from the Valley of Vision book. There are a few original songs on here, but they very much blend in to the genre of the others.

My most recent, and pleasantly surprising find, is Matthew Smith’s All I Owe. He is part of a larger group called Indelible Grace Music, which has lots of good things coming out of it. This particular album is largely made up of songs I have never heard before, but are some of the richest lyrically I have ever heard. A standout among them all is the title track, originally written by Robert Murray M’Cheyne (which I just found out, and somehow makes it even better).

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All I Owe
Words by Robert Murray McCheyne and Matthew Smith
Music by Matthew Smith

© 2002 detuned radio music (ASCAP)

When this passing world is done,
When has sunk yon glaring sun,
When we stand with Christ in glory,
Looking o’er life’s finished story,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe.

All I owe you paid for me
From all I owe I’ve been set free
And all I owe proves your great mercy to me

When I stand before your throne,
Dressed in beauty not my own,
When I see you as you are
Love you with unsinning heart,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe.

All I owe you paid for me
From all I owe I’ve been set free
And all I owe proves your great mercy to me

Chosen not for good in me,
Wakened up from wrath to flee,
Hidden in the Savior’s side,
By the Spirit sanctified,
Teach me, Lord, on earth to show,
By my love, how much I owe.

All I owe you paid for me
From all I owe I’ve been set free
And all I owe proves your great mercy to me

Wow. The entire album is good, and points your mind and thoughts to Christ.

Another group that is newer to me is Red Mountain Church. They have a number of albums out. I have the Gadsby album. Again, both lyrically and musically it is fantastic. It is so refreshing to hear good music, contemporary music, but with robust words. I also notice that they just came out with a christmas album a few weeks ago.

Also, Sovereign Grace Music has loads of stuff out there. Much of it is original, and some is revamps of older songs.

Along the classical lines, John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers are superb on the album Be Thou My Vision

Lots more out there, if you have any recommendations please let me know. Enjoy and be edified. 

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3 Responses to “Old made new – Hymns”

  1. Music on Monday « Unashamed Workman Says:

    […] Old Made New – Hymns […]

  2. blund Says:

    You may want to check out The New Hymnographers.

  3. luehrmann Says:

    Thanks for the link. I have Matt Haeck’s album and have really enjoyed it. This looks and sounds like great stuff.

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