I had the fortune of hearing the clips of many of the songs featured on this inspirational soundtrack before the album was actually released, and this turned out to be what made me want to get it so much. There had been a batch of vignettes made where many of the featured artists talked about why they had written the song as well as a sample of each song itself, and I could see that a lot of heart had gone into each performance, besides that the music sounded just amazing!
I was not sorry then that I got this CD and I have listened to it semi constantly since I got it.
So see what you think!
Waiting For the World to Fall - Jars of Clay : It's been a while since I have heard anything by this particular group, but I must say they came through very well for this song. The lyrics talk about waiting for the amazement of Narnia, to be literally undone by it. It's fresh and full and a perfect beginning to the CD that gets you into the mood immediately.
Remembering You - Steven Curtis Chapman : One of my all time favorite artists, Chapman delivers a beautiful addition to this album. Beyond the inspiring lyrics of a promise to remember (Aslan) as the singer sees winter melt to spring, there is a lavish Celtic tone to the music which adds a real depth to the song and the album.
Open Up Your Eyes - Jeremy Camp : I have to admit, this was my absolute favorite song on the album. I had loved the clip I heard and couldn't wait to hear the rest of the song, and far from disappointing my expectations, my admiration of this song has only grown. Camp is one of the few artists who decided to tackle the struggle in the character of Edmund and he delivers it in a powerful piece with stunning vocals and moving lyrics.
Hero - Bethany Dillon : I felt this new young artist was probably a given for this project as she is one of the self-proclaimed fans of the works of Lewis so I was excited to hear her fresh contribution to this album. Well it came through with strong vocals, strong lyrics and addictive melodies and more than that Dillon proves that she can stand against more veteran artists in good stead, this song is definitely one of her best.
Stronger - Delirious? : I have to say this was not one of my favorites. It wasn't necessarily anything to do with the lyrics not being as strong, but the melody plods quite a lot, and when it is bracketed by much more powerful performances it felt like a sudden halt in the proceedings. Still, for a slow moment it delivers nicely and, as I said, there's nothing lacking in the lyrics.
Lion - Rebecca St. James : After a long absence of new material from this amazing Australian artist, St. James' "Lion" will take your breath away. Powerful is the best way to describe it and it will doubtless bring you to tears. Besides this her voice takes on an incredible haunting tone which shows how her voice has matured greatly over the years. The bridge is an outstanding display of talent and is guaranteed to give you chills. Definitely one of my favorites.
New World - TobyMac : I was not exactly familiar with this artist when I got this album, I just knew that he was sort of loud. True enough "New World" is a pounding, thrumming, rapping piece that, at first, I thought didn't fit the rest of the mood at all. But I listened to it again, and again, and again, and unless you can't stand this style at all, it will grow on you. He does give a power to the piece which is backed up with his lyrics which are undeniably meant for the story (...just step through the door right into a new world, into Narnia...).
I Will Believe - Nichole Nordeman : Adding to all the power and drama of these tracks there is Nichole Nordeman, delivering an absolutely charming piece about awaking the magic in Narnia. Possibly this song was meant to be from Susan or Lucy's prospective, but it is a lovely (dare I say) girly addition which ties in the mood of a child's wonder at this new world.
Turkish Delight - David Crowder Band : I will say that I have not actually heard any of this band's work and will also add that I was not entirely impressed with what I heard. Despite the fact this was one of the songs which was undeniably meant for the story, the music clashed in my opinion with the tone of the rest of the album and for that reason I had trouble enjoying it. Still the lyrics were nicely put together to address the almost lack of struggle within Edmund in that moment when he is given what he wants. Perhaps it is just me, but after listening to this piece and the one from Second Chapter of Acts "Roar of Love", I think perhaps the downfall is using words like `Turkish Delight' in a song, it often falls short of holding the drama.
More Than It Seems - Kutless : I was predisposed to like this song, not only because I was already a fan of Kutless, but because I appreciated their decision to focus on Peter. In the shadow of the beautiful Susan, faithful Lucy and trouble Edmund, Peter is often relegated to `the older brother' role, but this song brings out his thoughts on their amazing adventure. You see through his eyes the tasks he is faced with and the question on his mind; can I be more than I seem? The music is very Kutless, but added to their rock style there is a chorus of strings which sets the mood beautifully.
You're The One - Chris Tomlin : Wrapping up is a song that could only be to Aslan from the perspective of the children's amazement and wonder at their King. I had not heard Chris Tomlin before, but I was pleased with his addition to this piece, his lyrics flow well and his music fit the mood nicely. The only trouble being that it seemed to end the album rather abruptly, but considering there are so many artists contributing there really weren't any better choices for the end slot, and you can always go back to the beginning and start again!
Music: The music of almost every track was so rich and strong. The Celtic feel, and strains of fantasy were evident and even offerings from Kutless and TobyMac couldn't help but add the feel of the magical world. Nothing necessarily complicated, just powerful performance.
Lyrics: I was pleased how, in the end, it felt like every aspect was covered. If you like to split it up then you could say that Kutless sang for Peter, Nichole Nordeman sang for Susan, Jeremy Camp sang for Edmund and Rebecca St. James sang for Lucy. It really brings you into the story in a unique and contemporary way, while still holding true to the mystery and fantasy.
Altogether: A wonderful offering which certainly makes *me* want to see the film when it is released. Inspiring is the best word to describe the project and I am very glad these artists took the time to combined their talents to promote this work, and encourage others to experience the magic.
Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia : Rates 5 out of 5 stars