A stunning new vision for traditional hymns. I had the privilege of hearing an advance copy of Sacred Hymns and I was blown away when I heard it. The first album by L'Angelus was a mixture of Cajun-country-bluegrass and is a pleasure to listen to. What they have been able to do with this latest album is to fuse their unique sound with an unmistakably Catholic repertoire. But don't think these are hymns with a twang.
I recognized many of the tracks on the cover and was surprised when I started listening that some of them had different melodies than I was familiar with. The a capella Salve Regina is particularly nice because the melody is the chant form that most people are familiar with, but the astounding harmony transforms this into version you will listen to time and again. These new arrangements and the incredible musical talent these young adults possess make every song on the album a gem. They treat the listener with English, Latin, French and Spanish hymns and despite the wide array of inspiration, the album has a very unified feel.
If you haven't had the opportunity to see L'Angelus in concert or live on EWTN you should listen to some of the sample tracks and purchase this CD. They have always had an interest in Catholic music and had written a waltz in honor of St. Cecilia long before they considered recording Sacred Hymns. The Catholic market is a new venture for them and these young people have received a warm welcome in this community.
New Catholic music has the stigma of being inferior to Christian and popular music because of the schmaltzy nature and low production value it so often brings with it. Sacred Hymns smashes that stereotype and puts Catholic music on equal footing with the more popular genres. This is a great album for people of all ages.
You can purchase Sacred Hymns through Igantius Press.
Copyright 2009 Susan Bailey
About the Author
Susan Bailey is the author of River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times (Ave Maria Press), and Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message (ACTA Publications), part of their Literary Portals to Prayer series. Along with her blogs Be as One and Louisa May Alcott is My Passion, Susan writes for the Diocese of Worcester newspaper, The Catholic Free Press.