Sap is Back: Hugs for Mom, Grandma and Those in Love
- Sarah E. Smith Entertainment Writer
- 2002 2 Feb
These three CDs, part of a growing series from Here to Him Music, provide listeners with mostly uninteresting arrangements of familiar tunes.
Hugs for Those in Love is a mixed bag. The contemporary love songs, from Up Where We Belong, Wind Beneath My Wings and Endless Love sound weak as instrumentals. Far superior are the classical pieces, ranging from the romantic Moonlight Serenade to the delightful Clair De Lune (recently featured in the movie Ocean's Eleven) to a nice piano rendition of Tchaikovsky's Theme from Romeo & Juliet on the song list.
Hugs for Mom offers listeners an eclectic array of songs, from the sentimental Thank You to the worshipful Shout to the Lord to the sappy You Are the Sunshine of My Life to a twangy Awesome God. My favorites from this collection include the beautifully haunting Over the Rainbow (if you listen real close, you can almost hear Judy Garland singing along), the jazzy Amazing Grace and the soothing Morning Has Broken.
Hugs for Grandma features old-fashioned hymns and choruses drained of any zip or zest. Lackluster versions of Majesty, Shine Jesus, Shine, Surely the Presence of the Lord and Near to the Heart of God leave the listener longing for Ralph Carmichael and his swinging big band arrangements of classic hymns. The only redeeming song on this CD is the enchanting I Am a Promise, one of my favorites from childhood.
Overall, these Hugs recordings sound like elevator music - nondescript, with few standouts.