Why am I doing this? Because there is too much music out there for you to listen to. No one has this kind of time. Listening is now part of my self-designed job description. For my second road trip, I stayed with OCP's (Spirit and Song) Volume 2. And I still didn't finish it. Perhaps, next time, when I get to Berkeley, I should have lunch with Celia at the Mariposa cafe and move on to Portland, Oregon. My own standards can afford to be stretched by consultation with a smart Cal girl. One time, we were crossing a street during her first year of school. "Hey, look both ways, Berkekely." I said. She replied, "It's a one-way street, UCLA." Ouch. Go bears.
Here's our picks:
Spirit and Song, Volume 9, Disc P
Track 1: Fish with me (cool chorus, odd verses) ***.5
Track 3: Go Out and Tell (closer; Celia liked it. So I am adding to paternal decimal points to my own 3.0 for a 3.3. I avoid music that is happier than I am. Weird, huh? Shantigarh music is almost always happy, but complex and never giddy. ***.3
Track 4: God Has Chosen Me. I'm giving it extra points because it's usually in our hymnals which enhances its usefulness. It doesn't have to rely on a repetitive hook. It's in the book. ***.3
Track 5: God of Wonders. The first 4.0 on this CD. Usually, I distrust songs with the word "galaxy," but this one works. (Other suspect words include "diversity," and "environment.") ****
Track 6: Great God. Fabulous. But I already rated it on World Library. Don't remember (without toggling out of this blog) if I gave it a 4.0 but it definitely rates.
Track 7. Isaiah 61 - Matt Maher. Another 4.0? I'm feeling embarrassed. But this is amazing. (Note the absence of exlamation points! Never use 'em. Bad habit. Limit yourself to three per year and only on such statements as Christ has Risen! or The Stock Market has fallen 6000 points in one hour! Otherwise, control yourself.) 4.0
Track 9: Peace I Leave - Simple setting. Perfect for that quiet vocalist who seldom is heard solo. ***.2
Track 11: Now is the Time - T. Kendzia. Presentation. ***.0
Track 12. That Where I Am - R. Mullins. Super fun. Very country, great two-part harmony. ***.9
Track 13: O Love of God/Amor de Dios. - B. Hurd. Forgot how good this old song is. ***.9
Track 14: Our God is Good - J. Blakesley/C. Ray. If you have that unstoppable rhythm guitar player who never drops a beat and never turns his volume too high, this cannot fail to express its simple statement. ***.9
Track 15: Testify to Love - P.Field/H. Pool/R. Van Manen/R. Riekerk. I suppose if I gave one star for everyone who wrote this song, that would be a 4.0.
Track 16: Trading My Sorrows - D. Evans. If your congregation has done this a lot, they may get sick of it. If they have never sung that "Yes, Lord, Yes, Lord, Yes, Yes, Lord," thingy it can be a very prayerful thing. Avoid making them hold up an "L" with their hand to their forehead since many interpret this as loser. Which would render the message: "Yes, Loser, Yes, Loser, Yes, Yes, Loser." ***.5
Track 17: We Will Follow - D. Brennan/K. Canedo/J. Manibusan - Can your band play a legit reggae? This is your happy song. ***.8
Track 18: Come to the Feast - C. Colson. Pleasant, innocuous. Fine for Presentation. ***
Track 19: Grateful - T. Tomaszek. If the readings are about gratitude, go for this nice two-part harmony piece. Pleasant, innocuous, but clever in conctruction. Grateful, thankful, joyful. These words are marvelously highlighted and are the very words that occur to me when I think of the ministry I have been given, so... ***.7
That's Disc P. Please e-mail or blog if you believe I have been unfair. I will automatically give extra stars if I receive intimidating e-mails. Tomorrow, Disc Q.