Friday, June 11, 2010

In Feast or Fallow: A music review of Sandra McCracken's latest album

A little over a month ago I was excited and surprised to get an email from the digital media company promoting Sandra's new album. They asked me to give a review with the understanding that I am not a musical person, but a mom, which Sandra is as well! I wanted to really take the time to listen to her album and think through my thoughts before blogging, hence the delayed post! I had not heard of Sandra before, and I'm not a big folk music fan, but I was pleasantly surprised by her album and have enjoyed adding several of the songs to my playlist.

In Feast or Fallow, the latest release by Sandra McCracken, was produced by her husband David Webb of Caedmon's Call. It is a beautiful mix of old hymns that have been revived with a new folk sound. Some of the tracks' were written by Sandra herself as well. Sandra's gentle, almost haunting voice, finds a way of making these hymns sound relevant and fresh. Her style is one I have not come across in the Christian music sector, and appreciated it's originality and the risks she took with the arrangements.

There is no chance of the word meanings getting lost amongst the music, and her objective is clear throughout the album. Simple, soft and graceful are the three words I would use to describe her entire work. The album is consistent in it's sound throughout, but there are a few that are must-haves on my playlist.
Can't Help Myself  and Sweet Sorrow are two songs that really stuck in my head for both their music content and words. Knowing that we will indeed have sorrow, but realizing that amidst it all we can't help but lift our hands up to the One who can take each moment and bring us back to joy.

So, if you're a folk music lover this album is for you. If you don't usually gravitate towards this style like me, give it a chance and I'm sure a couple of her songs will stick in your head!

Click on the above links for more information on Sandra, her new album and how to get it!

You Tube-Sandra McCracken's Channel