The Songs of Zion
Chad Woolner, “Hymns Made of String”
Hymns Made of String is a wonderful CD to put on while the family is relaxing on Sunday afternoon. It will help bring some peace and tranquility to a home. If that is what this CD is designed for, it succeeds, and succeeds quite nicely. Spiritual background music. I found it to be difficult to focus on it, however, by itself, as a whole.
Each one of these songs is well performed and extremely well-recorded. All of the songs, especially “God Be With You ‘Till We Meet Again”, and “Come Come Ye Saints”, would be marvelous works of recorded music if I hadn’t just heard ten other songs just like them. Song to song, the tempos rarely varied, and the arrangements were similar (one guitar playing broken chords from the root on up, two guitars harmonizing the song’s melody line). On their own, any one of these songs would be beautiful, touching. Taken as a whole, it all blended into sameness.
There were some moments that almost broke out, however. There were some strummed parts in “Master The Tempest is Raging”, and the intros to a couple of songs, like “If You Could Hie To Kolob” and “Come Come Ye Saints” that caught my ear for a moment or two, before each one returned to the same broken chords and the same tempos with the same arrangements.
Chad picked his material well. All of the Hymns are very familiar, allowing us to follow they lyrics in our minds as we listen. The two that I didn’t know, “Mary’s Shoulders”, and “Tree of Life” were written Gayle Walker (Chad’s in-law) and by Chad himself. Their melodies were tasty and pleasant.
Three stars… We have the themes, it just needs more variation…
His website, chadwoolner.com, as I was writing the review, didn't come up. It might have been a temporary outage. Perhaps you can try it and see...