Thursday, May 30, 2013

Music Review: The Edge of the Divine by Sandi Patty

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun songs with awesome lyrics; recaptures the classic Sandi feel.
Cons: "Mighty Fortress" and "We Shall Behold Him" are both subpar covers
The Bottom Line:
Sandi still can sing
Fun music plus great lyrics
For fans old and new

Divine New CD from Sandi Patty

Sandi Patty is now over 30 years into her career, and she's still releasing new music.  I must admit that I find her releases these days to be hit or miss.  I like one, but the next one leaves me cold.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up The Edge Of The Divine, her latest studio release.  I'm happy to say that this is a great release on par with some of her classics.

The disc starts out upbeat with "Faith Dancing."  Not only does it have a very catchy melody, but it really will make you want to get up and dance.  Heck, it puts a smile on my face.  It's a reminder to put your trust in God no matter what life throws your way.  The programmed guitar gives it a very modern feel.

Sandi slows things down on the title track.  "The Edge of the Divine" features some beautiful piano work underpinned by guitar, drums, and strings.  Again, it's about faith and trusting God, leaving the past behind and flying in the promises of God's love and mercy.

The upbeat is back for the keyboard based "Times Like These," which is again about trusting God.  And we've uncovered one reason I love this CD so much.  Songs about trust God always hit me, so a CD that talks about it so much is automatically going to be one I like.  Granted, I often failed to truly have the faith in God exhibited in this song, but it's always a good reminder for me of what I should be striving for.

I stuck this CD in my player and listened to it off and on for a few days, which is my normal mode with a new CD.  I knew that Sandi had done a duet on "When Life Gets Broken," but I hadn't paid any attention to who she was singing with.  Every time I heard it, I thought it sounded like something from Point of Grace.  Then I paid closer attention to the credits.  Sure enough, the duet is with Heather Payne, former of Point of Grace.  It's a soaring ballad about God's faithfulness to help us start over after something truly horrid happens.

"Worthy" deals with our sin and the holiness of God.  It's an amazing expression of God's forgiveness.  It's a slow song filled with strings and a bit of piano.  Sandi's vocals are perfect.  You can hear her passion for the lyrics.

But we're back to upbeat with "Makes Me Wanna Pray."  In fact, we're at a good old fashioned Gospel meeting.  I've got to admit, I didn't care for the electric feel to the Gospel style at first, but I've gotten into it as I've listened to the song more.  I really do like it.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of misses on this disc, and they are the two non-original songs.  "A Might Fortress is Our God" is a cover of the classic hymn.  It's recorded with a full orchestra and starts out quite nicely.  But as she goes on, Sandi goes into hyper opera singer mode, a mode I often don't like.  By the time she gets to the final verse, it's so over done I don't enjoy it.

She also has done a new version of her classic "We Shall Behold Him."  Again, she's singing with an orchestra.  The problem here is that the original is a classic for a reason, and this one does nothing to improve upon it.  In fact, at times, she rushes from one line to the next.  It's not just that I prefer the old one, the way the lines are rushed together actually does feel awkward since she only does it during the chorus but not the verses.

Those two missteps aside, this is a solid release from a Christian music legend.  If you've even been a Sandi Patty fan, be sure to get The Edge Of The Divine.

CD Length: 44:17
1. Faith Dancing
2. The Edge of the Divine
3. Times Like These
4. When Life Gets Broken
5. Worthy
6. Makes Me Wanna Pray
7. All to Bring You Glory
8. A Mighty Fortress is Our God
9. We Shall Behold Him
10. My Prayer for You

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