Thinking Out Loud

June 18, 2011

Music Review: Love Divine – The Hymns of Charles Wesley

Worship leaders looking for the lyrical depth of Stuart Townend or Robin Mark or Sovereign Grace Music need look no further than the great hymn texts of Charles Wesley; but how do we bring these lyrics into the 21st century? 

The answer lies in this collection of thirteen songs. Love Divine: The Hymns of Charles Wesley (Kingsway North America) keeps or follows the original lyrics — a few with the addition of the proverbial bridges so popular today — but adds new melodies, modern chords and current arrangements performed by a number of names you’ll recognize — Brenton Brown, Tim Hughes, Chris Quilala (Jesus Culture), Leigh Nash (Sixpence), Kim Walker — and a number that will be new to you.  The first cut, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” with Tim Hughes is somewhat dominated by its bridge, but most of the rest of the songs stay closer to the hymn lyrics.

With words so familiar, it’s hard to assess the new arrangements without allowing them to grow on you over time. While there are no “conspicuous” cuts among the thirteen — with a balance of faster and slower songs — worship leaders will probably gravitate to lyrics already familiar which they want to employ in weekend worship services.  Otherwise, my only “review” comment would be to say that the musicians have managed to capture the sound of today’s modern worship and apply it to these classic texts.

It’s truly a best of both worlds.


1 Comment »

  1. I love the words of Charles Wesley’s hymns, especially “And Can It Be” which was my all time favourite until Stuart Townend’s “In Christ Alone”.
    I’ll be looking for that CD. Thanks.

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — June 19, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

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