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Draw Me Close: Songs of Worship

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Feb
Draw Me Close: Songs of Worship
Sounds like … the vocal texture of Babbie Mason, Kim Hill, and Amy Grant, plus the sparse traditional folk-styled arrangements of Fernando Ortega, Andrew Peterson, and Sara Groves.At a glance … Troccoli's latest is a work marked by restraint and beauty, a simple yet gorgeously arranged disc of worship songs both past and present.Track Listing Come Just As You AreAwesome in This PlaceYou Are Holy, Lord (w/ Holy, Holy, Holy)There Is a RedeemerThere's Something About That NameHe Touched MeWonderful, Merciful SaviorHow Deep the Father's Love for UsO Sacred Head Now WoundedDraw Me CloseHow Great You AreGreat Is Thy FaithfulnessKnowing YouTurn Your Eyes Upon Jesus His Strength Is Perfect My Life Is in Your Hands

Just to set the record straight, Michael W. Smithwasn't Reunion Records' flagship artist in the early '80s. It was Kathy Troccoli for whom the label was specifically created, and in those days, the Brooklyn native was best known for the kind of heavily synthesized dance-pop that eventually yielded the mainstream hit "Everything Changes" in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 1995's Sounds of Heaven when she began to find a more personable and distinctive style to wrap her husky alto around.

Interesting then that the suspiciously generic-titled Draw Me Close: Songs of Worship suits her voice better than any other album in her storied discography. This time, she wisely avoids the big-name producers and larger-than-life pop motifs for refreshingly simple, stripped-down renditions of worship songs both past and present. Instead of offering the umpteenth version of "Open the Eyes of My Heart" or yet another collection of favorite hymns, Troccoli chooses classic choruses by drawing upon a wide array of traditions, including Southern gospel ("He Touched Me"), contemporary worship (the title track), hymnology ("Great Is Thy Faithfulness"), and even her own repertoire (closing with "My Life Is in Your Hands").

This diverse menu of blended worship sources makes the overall sound both accessible and timeless. Carried only by acoustic guitar, piano, cello, or varying combinations of the three, the arrangements are elegantly executed, often segueing seamlessly from one to the next in a fashion that's devotional and inviting. Though the title might fool some into thinking this is yet another tired entry into the overcrowded worship market, Draw Me Close transcends the trends for a soothing and tranquil experience that can truly usher you nearer to the presence of God.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.