After last year's hit Hymns of Worship, it seems Curb Records recording artist, Fernando Ortega, will astound fans once again with his brand new self-titled album. This album could be considered one of his best throughout the years since his '97 debut album This Bright Hour (Myrrh Records). Ortega, one of the strongest lyricists in the Christian music industry today, is an immensely focused and ambitious artist who doesn't fail to meet the expectations of the audience. Genuineness, sensitivity, and charm can be used to describe this unique and multi-gifted artist.
Fernando Ortega, produced by John Schreiner (Carman, Twila Paris), is yet another refreshing album which proves once again that Ortega still has it in himself to produce an extraordinary work of art. The mixture of emotions and beats throughout the album can get even a Third Day fan caught up. While classified as contemporary folk/pop, Ortega combines some more upbeat songs with his slow ballads, resulting in the unconscious tapping of your foot, bobbing of your heard, or snapping of your fingers.
Starting off the album is the smooth sound of "California Town". Ortega's soft voice captures you right in the beginning, drawing you farther into the album. Next are his more folk-flavored upbeat songs, including "Dragonfly" and "When the Coyote Comes", which seem to reveal his New Mexican roots. Believing that praise should be balanced between pragmatic and theological expressions, later in the album you find Ortega's rendition of the beautiful hymn "Rock of Ages". Every song shows one if not all of Ortega's many gifts. If it's not his sincere and sensitive lyrics, then it's his amazing vocals or his skillful storytelling that stand out. Ortega ends his Curb Records debut album with the soft hymn "More Love to Thee" sung with just a piano harmony.
Fans of Bebo Norman, Chris Rice, Rich Mullins, or Michael Card should definitely check out Fernando Ortega's new self-titled release. Be ready for an album full of talent, articulation, and just astonishing lyrics.- Review date: 8/5/04, written by Jessica Vander Loop
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