Listen to the new album from Acoustic Truth!
Listen to the new album from Acoustic Truth!

JFH Staff Review


Jimmy Needham, The Hymns Sessions - Vol. 1
CLICK COVER TO ENLARGE

Jimmy Needham
The Hymns Sessions - Vol. 1



Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 10 tracks: 40 minutes, 45 seconds
Street Date: September 10, 2013


A lot of newly-independent artist have recently jumped on the Kickstarter train, but CCM veteran Jimmy Needham was one of the early adopters. Back in March of 2011, Needham started a Kickstarter to fund his fourth full-length album Clear the Stage. Along with the new album, he also recorded a hymns album that was only available to Kickstarter backers and concert attendees. Now, Needham is releasing the whole project to the general public. As it turns out, The Hymns Sessions Vol. I is one of the better cover albums done by a CCM artist in recent memory.

The Hymns Sessions is a fairly brief ten tracks, two of which are Needham originals. The remaining eight are all traditional hymns, some of which are more well-known than others. The most obscure is clearly the opener, "Christos Anesti," which is a short liturgical hymn for the celebration of Easter. It isn't a great introduction to the album, as it doesn't reflect the style of the other nine tracks and Needham's voice isn't particularly suited to its more traditional sound. Fortunately, the remainder of the album is excellent.

Covering hymns is always a tightrope, and many artists tend to either try too hard to change the original song (either by changing the tune or adding unnecessary choruses) or they don't add enough of a personal touch to really make the cover worthwhile in the first place. Needham walks this line flawlessly, showing ample respect for the original purpose of the hymns while still interjecting his own signature style. He takes both "Rock of Ages" and "Come Thou Fount" and injects a heavy dose of jazz styling into the mix, adding a little bit of fun to contrast with the more somber way many people are used to singing them. At the same time, he plays both "Holy Holy Holy" and "It Is Well" pretty straight, showing that he took the process seriously and wasn't just trying to create gimmicks.

The only track that perhaps does seem a little gimmicky is "How Great Thou Art." Here, Needham abandons the majority of the traditional verses and replaces them with some Trip Lee raps. This might seem borderline heretical to some listeners, but the song is so well crafted that I found myself enjoying the change regardless. Meanwhile, the two original tracks (and especially "It Is Finished") are both excellent, and I daresay far better than a lot of worship songs making their way to radio currently.

This album may not garner a lot of attention, as it was originally just a bonus reward for Needham's most loyal fans. But as a simple hymns project, it's really quite good and offers some unique ideas among today's worship genre. Needham deserves credit for his effort on this release, and hopefully the listening public will notice.

- Review date: 9/9/13, written by Timothy Estabrooks of Jesusfreakhideout.com


Visit Girder Music!

 

. Record Label: None
. Album length: 10 tracks: 40 minutes, 45 seconds
. Street Date: September 10, 2013
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. Christos Anesti (1:18)
  2. The Gospel (3:55)
  3. Rock Of Ages (3:13)
  4. Come Thou Fount (3:52)
  5. Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Featuring Kevin Jones) (3:44)
  6. How Great Thou Art (Featuring Trip Lee) (5:17)
  7. Holy Holy Holy (Featuring Shane & Shane) (3:45)
  8. Joyful Joyful (5:23)
  9. It Is Well (5:30)
  10. It is Finished (4:56)
  11. spacer Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
    Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
    Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
    Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
    Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
    Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
    Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
    Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
    Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
    Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics

 

Leave a Comment

 

 

go to main Album review page
go to Album review archive

 


(JFH Sponsor Spot)

 

 

           
Visit Girder Music!

Search JFH




This Thursday, June 17, 2021
NEEDTOBREATHE Sunshine - Single [Elektra]


This Friday, June 18, 2021
Cody Carnes Too Good To Not Believe (Live) - Single [Capitol CMG]
Jason Crabb Just As I Am - EP [Red Street]
Amy Grant Donít Ever Want To Lose It (Wind In The Fire) - Single [Capitol CMG]
Jason Gray What I Wish For You - Single [Centricity]
Tasha Cobbs Leonard Gotta Believe - Single [Motown Gospel]
Maverick City Music Jubilee: The Juneteenth Edition [Tribl]
Meadows The Depths - Single [Facedown]
Social Club Misfits Without You (Abe Parker Remix) - Single (feat. Riley Clemmons) [Capitol CMG]
Michael W. Smith Dusty Road - Single [Rocketown/The Fuel]
Switchfoot Flourescent - Single [Fantasy]
John Waller What My Father Does (feat. Sophee Waller) - Single [Radiate]
Brian Courtney Wilson Be Real Black For Me (feat. Ledisi) - Single [Motown Gospel]


Next Friday, June 25, 2021
Ellie Holcomb Canyon [Capitol CMG]
Make Sure Girl Drummer - Single [Tooth & Nail]
Patrick Mayberry No One Like You Lord (Acoustic) - Single [Centricity]
Phil Wickham Hymn of Heaven [Fair Trade]


For all release dates, click here!
 



Listen to the new album from White Stone Receivers!




Listen to the new album from Jaime Masetta!