- reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2005 1 Apr
- Amazing Grace (feat. Ginny Owens)
- Crown Him With Many Crowns
- How Great Thou Art
- Seventh Day
- Be Thou Near To Me (feat. Selah)
- O Sacred Head Now Wounded
- Holy, Holy, Holy
- Hear Me (Tears Into Wine) (feat. Michael Bolton)
It's hard to pin a category on pianist extraordinaire Jim Brickman. He's often tagged "New Age" at CD stores, but he's also been on the adult contemporary, country and contemporary Christian charts. Much of that has to do with his guest vocalists, a list which has included the likes of Martina McBride, Michael W. Smith and Mark Schultz, plus many others.
Unfortunately the other two vocal collaborations aren't as inspiring, starting with a sleepy version of "Amazing Grace," during which Ginny Owens' unstretched range meanders over Brickman's unremarkable assemblage. Though "Hear Me (Tears into Wine)" shares a moving message of Christ's miraculous powers, Michael Bolton's crooning and the subsequent musical swells come across as incredibly sappy. The down swing continues with the languid lullaby levels on "Holy, Holy, Holy" and "Israel," both of which could be the background music of a Hallmark store at best. Such letdowns mean this CD isn't an all-around winner, but its shining moments indicate his true talents and his faith focus.
Interestingly, a version of this CD released to the mainstream market includes "Ave Maria," but the version we've reviewed, released to the Christian market, does not include it—perhaps because it's too Catholic for a mostly Protestant audience?