Hugs to Encourage and Inspire
by Various Artists
Rare & Hard-To-Find Audio CDs (series)
- All "ZSM" coded CDs are in new and never-played condition. Most are sealed. However, product may have manufacturer's delete notch, drill hole, prior sale stickers, or worn or missing OUTER wrap.
- Released: May 31, 2001
- Originally Released: 2001
- Label: Here to Him Music
- 1.This Is Your Time
- 2.Heartbeat of Hope
- 3.You Light Up My Life
- 4.Shower the People
- 5.Blessed Assurance
- 6.Amazing Grace
- 7.There Is a Balm
- 8.Great Is Thy Faithfulness
- 9.I Believe in You
- 10.Up Where We Belong
- 11.Just as I Am
Personnel: Christine Donahue, Paul Brannon, Mark Baldwin, Dave Cleveland (guitar); Sam Levine (flute, pennywhistle); Mark Douthit (saxophone, EWI); Jeff Nelson, Sal Oliveri (keyboards, programming); Ken Lewis (percussion).
Recording information: Little Sicily, Franklin, TN.
Arrangers: Jeff Nelson; Sal Oliveri.
The key to the success of the three-CD Hugs series is producer Glenn Wagner's ability to make each song a different tempo and feature a different lead instrument, so that it doesn't just become a wallpaper pleasantry. Michael W. Smith's "This Is Your Time" is sax-driven, while Steven Curtis Chapman's "Heartbeat of Hope" is guitar-oriented (acoustic on the verses, edgy and electric on the chorus) with some graceful piano harmonies. Wagner tries to make hipness out of "You Light Up My Life" by giving it a modern techno groove and slick electric guitar melody, but it's hard to relieve that song of its clich‚d cheesiness. James Taylor's "Shower the People" offers a simple, folksy acoustic guitar melody. "Amazing Grace," enhanced here with electronic keyboard effects, could benefit from that kind of organic approach. One of the nicest touches is Christa Black's lush violin on the chorus part of "Great Is Thy Faithfulness"; this lends a stately, classical flavor to the piece. Like its two sister CDs, Hugs to Encourage and Inspire has a companion inspirational book as part of its marketing campaign. ~ Jonathan Widran
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