Who isn’t biased about their own church’s album?
You know the lyrics, the singers, the tunes, the songwriters and the harmonies in between.
You were somehow linked to it’s production either because you were part of the congregation warbling in the background, or you know someone who was.
There is a big build-up to the CD’s release date and you can’t wait to buy some as presents.
A few are given away to family and friends at Christmas but then…
…your bubble bursts as their reaction is subdued to the point of ungratefulness.
“Eeerh, why do all your songs sound the same?”
“It’s okay, but it’s not my style.”
“I don’t like her voice; she shouldn’t be doing so many lead vocals.”
“Why do they have to repeat sentences over and over again?”
“The album cover’s not very appealing – I wouldn’t have bought it if I saw it in the shops.”
As defensiveness rises from your every pore, you give a strained, gracious ‘Okayeee’ and turn away muttering to yourself something about pigs wearing precious jewellery.
In reality, all musical recordings whether secular or Christian, come under the same scrutiny and criticism because:
- We all have different musical tastes.
- We all have different expectations of what a good CD should sound like.
- We like to compare a new music collection with one we already love and have got used to.
- The sound drowns out the message because we either cannot hear the lyrics over the music, or we are not listening intently to the words.
- We do not understand the heart behind the project because nobody has explained it.
Well, I’ve been back to my collection and listened to our last 6 albums. I like them because they are singing praises to God, but this new production is nothing like those others. Despite how blessed I am when I listen to them, this new gem blows the others out of the water.
“Aw come on, don’t you say that each time a new album is released?”
Basically, Garment Of Praise is a wonderful CD that every Christian should own not because,
“I go to that church so I’m bigging it up.”
…but because it is anointed by the Lord and full of the glory of Jesus.
It will take you into the presence of God and give you a new appreciation of your salvation.
There are millions of fantastic singers in the world and I’m proud to say we have some of them busting out some dapper notes on this CD. But more importantly, when you take timeout to listen to it,
you will find an amazing peace and a fresh realisation of who Jesus is.
Now, we all know that every church roof needs mending from time to time, but I promise you, I am not on commission. There are no loose tiles that need replacing from up above my head. I am not plugging this project because I want to sit on better chairs or be served posher beverages during ‘fellowship time’.
When it rains, nothing leaks.
I’m comfortable with the seating.
I like the juice.
I’m not even telling you to go out and buy any copies, nor am I subtly reminding you that’ Jesus has his birthday soon, so if you’re stuck for gift ideas…’
No, all I’m encouraging you to do is to take a free sneak peek on the website:
The reason why there are no lyrics inside the album cover is because you can easily download them together with music chords. But also because the words are sung out so clearly that you can decipher every word.
But better than that, on the website above, (an easy-to-navigate, one-page site) there is over an hour’s worth of video footage (4 separate videos) explaining how the songs were put together and clips of all the musicians and singers. (No I’m not in the choir – I sound like a crow)
So to start you off, here is Sarah-Jane Hoggar, our Music Director, giving a quick 5 minute explanation about the arrangement of the songs.
…and then when you have a bit more time on your hands, you can watch the video below, which lasts, 1 hour, one minute and 35 seconds. This is a more in-depth account from a musical perspective and all the songwriters appear on the video to give you an outline of how they got the inspiration for their songs.
Back to numbers 1 and 5 on the list of why people often dislike a CD or are scared to buy it in case they don’t like it:
“We all have different taste.”
On this album there is something for everyone: upbeat and rhythmic – mellow – latin beat – soft rock – ethnic jingles – hymn style – strong ballads – breathy and soft – multi-tone duets.
There’s no reggae folks, so there’s no need to bogle and you can keep ya neck still. There’s no rap or hip-hop either, so you fussy fellows can relax.
“We don’t understand the heart behind the songs.”
As already mentioned, the videos on the website explains the songwriter’s emotion when they were penned. If played from beginning to end in the correct order (you don’t have to!) you will notice that a story of love is laid out before you and it takes you on a journey of a deeper discovery of what God has done for you and who your are in Christ.
If you do decide to purchase a copy, will you please stop by and let me know how this treasure has touched your heart?
God bless you all,