I have rented a Ford Focus with a single-chamber CD player and in the passenger seat I have recordings of every song in World Library's Voices as One, Volumes 1 and 2, and OCP's Spirit and song, Volumes 1 and 2. Our problem is not that we don't have enough good music, it is that we have too much good music. Liberally mixed in with the bad, it is sometimes difficult to find the time to separate the wheat from the chaff. But maybe that's why God made the Insterstate 5 and gave me a week off.
My system is simple. I listen. If I like the song, I write down the track number. Then, I listen to the whole CD again. I write down the track numbers one a new sheep of paper. If the same number pops up twice, that song will be used in a Shantigarh Liturgy. I have neglected these collections building on our reputation for culling the music of unusual sources; but these are Catholic sources and, in my experience, one out of every ten songs from these publishers is worthy of a place in the permanent repetoire alongside our collection of Chant and motets. That's high yield, but it makes my point: we are living in a time of wonderful composers. That's why I'm out here watching cows go by on the Interstate 5.
Okay, I'm now passing Santa Nella. Enjoyed the second volume of WLP's voices as One. I've noticed that their CD's are not in chronological or alphabetical order, nor do they follow the order of the collection itself, but rather, are grouped in CD's with titles like: "Strong in Faith," and "Come, Holy Spirit." It's not a bad system but may slow me down when I get to my hotel room at the fabulous "Extended Stay America." Preliminary impressions: A lot of good songs on the "Strong in Faith" CD from Voices As One.
Excuse my digression. My family has "Indian names" for each other which we use on road trips. Stupid, perhaps slightly ethnically insensitive names like, "Him Who Takes Too Much," and "Cow Estimator." My Indian name is "Cow Estimator" and I just saw a herd of cows and, well, you get the idea. Sorry. No digressions on the home page, though.
I think I lilke "You're Worthy of My Praise," Testify to Love," "I See You," "Testify to Love." I like "Great God," and will use it as a recessional. But I will have to listen at least once more to each song because I am fooled quite frequently into 1; overlooking a brilliant hymn, and; 2, buying into a hymn which does not connect to the ensemble, to the priest, or to the people. I like to please all three.
Time to make a preliminary assessment, which I will add to during my visit to my daughter, a pre-med sophomore at UC Berkeley (which is the blessed excuse for this excursion). Not only am I an expert in Christian music whose opinions are to be shared on a national level, I also have strong feelings about hotels. I like Extended stay. It is so cheap. The folks at the front desk may be a little strange, but they leave me alone, never knock on my door, never make the bed, never empty the trash. That's the "extended" part. If you stay more than seven days, they will come and take care of business. Otherwise, you are on your own. I like that as much as I like the full kitchen with two-burner stove, large fridge, plates and utensils. Wi-fi is $5 and that covers the entire extended stay. Okay! Here's my preliminary list. I will update it frequently. This is a larger task than I realized, but Volume II is worth your and my time.
Okay. I've spontaneously adopted a Four Star Rating System. Why? Tell you later. The spread is from one star (*) to four stars (****) with four stars being the best.
(So far, no one rates only a *)
I am only including songs which have *** (three stars) or above.
212 Better is One Day ***
213 Be Glorified (Your love has captured me) ***Louis Giglio and Chris Tomlin
217 Breath ***1/2 Marie Barnett
384 You Are the Voice *** typical Haas (1983)
225 Come and Follow Me *** Angotti Angst but okay.
239 Deep Down I Know *** David Haas
288 I Say Yes – Dona Pena ***
335 Send Down the Fire – Marty Haugen ***
THREE AND ONE-HALF STARS
263 Great God David Wilding; arr. Ed Bolduc ***1/2
275 Holiness is Faithfulness – Danielle Rose *** ½ Presentation; meditation
278 How Beautiful – Twila Paris *** ½ (very cultic words)
289 I See You Rich Mullins *** ½ (unintentionally ominous)
367 We Are a Chosen People ***1/2 Paul Berrell and Paul A Tate
315 More Love; More Power – Jude del Hiero ***1/2 (KF recommends)
320 O Taste and See – Marty Haugen *** ½
321 On Holy Ground – Donna Pena *** ½ (bilingual)
322 Open My Eyes – Jesse Manibusan *** ½
336 Send Out Your Spirit, Lord (Psalm 104) - John Angotti *** ½
353 Testify to Love – Paul Field, Henk Pool, Ralph Van Manen, Robert Riekerk *** ½
393 You’re Worthy of My Praise – David Ruis *** ½ (east for cong to imitate) Exit.
FOUR STARS: CANNOT IMAGINE A REPETOIRE FILE WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE...
201 Above All Lenny Le Blanc and Paul Baloche****
204 Annointing, Fall on Me **** Don Thomas arr Bolduc
227 Veni, Creator Spiritus **** John Angotti
229 Come Now is the Time to Worship ****Brian Doerkson
324 Open the Eyes of My Heart – Paul Baloche ****
328 Rain Down – Jaime Cortez ****
261 Go Out in the World **** Ed Bolduc Good exit song
270 Here I Am to Worship – Tim Hughes; arr. Ed Bolduc
282 I Can Only Imagine – Bart Millard **** Presentation
311 Love One Another **** Feargal King (good irish type Johnny tune)
322 Open my eyes **** Jesse Manibusan (overused but still great)
337 Shelter Your Name **** - Danielle Rose
341 Shout to the Lord – Darlene Zschech ****
345 Spirit of the Living God – Daniel Iverson (1890-1977) **** post communion (short)
350 Take My Life – Scott Underwood ****
352 Teach Us How to Pray – John Angotti ****
390 Your Love****
(This list will be updated until I have made an assessment of every song in Voices as One Volumes I and II and Spirit and Song I and II. Recall, I am not inclined only toward Catholic collections; it is precisely that I have long neglected to study these volumes that I turn to them now. There is real treasure here.)