Though not on the market for another month and a half, Hymned, the debut solo project from MercyMe front man Bart Millard, has already received rave reviews from a number of media outlets including The Dallas Morning News, Moody Broadcasting, CCM magazine, and ChristianMusicToday.com.
Here¡¯s what¡¯s being said about Hymned:
¡°¡Sharp Texas-blues arrangements and exceptional performances will keep even younger audiences rapt. Millard¡¯s passionate voice puts new life into these songs, and the instrumental interpretations are innovative and powerful. Don¡¯t miss Robert Randolph¡¯s spectacular steel guitar work on ¡®Sweetest Name I Know.¡¯ I¡¯ve heard quite a few hymn collections recently ¨C this is the one to buy.¡± ¨C The Dallas Morning News.
¡°I have been in Christian radio for almost 23 years and this is one of the best personal projects I have heard. The quality of the arrangements, the skill of the players, the ..heartfelt voices of those singing and the enduring nature of the hymns chosen have combined to offer this generation a new look at the foundations of Christian music.¡± - Moody Broadcasting, Prime Time Chicago.
¡°Hymned is a satisfying aural journey that¡¯s well suited for those wanting a laid-back yet reverent spiritual encounter¡a musical expedition that blends blues, gospel and country, ultimately providing a sound as natural and relaxed as a pair of well-worn blue jeans.¡± ¨C CCM magazine, Lead review, August 2005.
¡°Credit Bart Millard for offering some of the year¡¯s most creative and compelling new versions of old hymns on this enjoyable project.¡± ¨C ChristianMusicToday.com.
Millard¡¯s inspiration behind Hymned came from his memories of singing hymns while growing up along with his desire to, ¡°share these special songs,¡± with his son, Sam.
¡°My wife and I grew up together in a church where we sang hymns every Sunday ¨C there was no such thing as contemporary worship ¨C these hymns were as contemporary as it got,¡± said Millard. ¡°All of our memories are fond of that time ¨C no matter how boring or great it was, we just smile looking back on it now. So, when my 3 ¨C year old son Sam was born, it hit me that he probably wouldn¡¯t have these memories that we have, and it was just kind of sad to me. I hope this record will help me share these special songs with him.¡±
Millard¡¯s personal heart for the project is also what caused him to go ahead with the record despite the wealth of hymn albums that have recently hit the Christian marketplace.
¡°When I told INO Records I wanted to do an album of traditional hymns, they said, ¡®Great,¡¯ but then four days later they called back and said, ¡®Do you realize there are like 11 hymns records coming out this year?¡¯¡± said Millard. ¡°At first I didn¡¯t know what to do, but then I remembered why I wanted to do this in the first place, and trusted my instincts and God¡¯s timing for the rest.¡±
Produced by Brown Bannister, Hymned features guest vocal appearances from Vince Gill, Russ Taff, and Millard¡¯s labelmate Derek Webb, and guest musicians including country singer Steve Wariner and Robert Randolph.
The album will release on August 19th in a special DualDisc format, which will feature in the studio footage and a diary of the musical journey of making the record.
More information and track samples from Hymned can be found at www.inorecords.com.