Author: John Michael Talbot
Label: Troubadour for Lord
Released: Audio CD August 19, 2003
Comments: One of the few Catholic Christians able to break into popular
All Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review:
25 Years of Praise, Blessings Celebrated on "Signatures", May 9, 2004
Reviewer: trivialtony (FL)
"Did I mention I'm a Christian?" John Michael Talbot asked with a sly smile
at a recent concert. The point was obvious, the laughs and affection genuine in
an evening filled with prayers and a collection call for his Mercy Corps
International charity (joking,"You paid to get in here, and now you'll have to pay
to get out."). And, of course, his contemplative songs with lyrics drawn from
the Psalms, saints' prayers and Jesus' own words. Not to mention his familiar
monastic robe worn onstage.
Talbot has for more than 25 years been a leading Catholic Christian
singer/songwriter, author, fundraiser, lay preacher and monastic leader. He celebrates
his blessings and success this year with an updated biography and this
exceptional CD, both sharing the name "Signatures."
"Signatures" features Talbot concert favorites, sweetened and strengthened
through orchestration (from the London Philarmonia, conducted by veteran Phil
Perkins) and choral background (from the St. Michael Singers). They add sweep
and grandeur to the choruses of "Come Worship the Lord," "Only in God," and "The
Hiding Place," which features a superb staccaco string arrangement. They give
the CD a gently rolling, classical feeling without drowning Talbot's voice or
superb acoustic guitar playing. This is especially true on the beloved "Holy
Is His Name," Talbot's melody of Mary's Magnificat with its superb
introductory guitar/woodwind interplay.
Of the CD opener, "Lilies of the Field," Talbot writes in his detailed liner
notes, "...it has a most charming way of touching the listener with the
beautiful aspect of gospel simplicity...when sung it almost irresistibly beckons."
Yet the same is true of his other "Jesus songs" here; "I Am The Bread of Life"
is slowly, emotionally moving and reassuring, especially in a year dominated
by "The Passion of the Christ."
After 15 songs lasting more than an hour, you're left with a suite of
flowing, contemplative music building a mood and message of God's steadfastness,
Jesus' peace and rest amidst solitude and silence. (During the concert, Talbot
reminded his audience to listen for silence within and between the music and find
Jesus there as well.) It also speaks of our need for faith and to surrender
to His will ("God Alone Is Enough," "I Surrender")
Even Talbot's detractors acknowledge his musicianship and the souls he and
his music helped win for Christ. (Yours truly met John Michael after the concert
with my closest, dearest friend, who introduced his music to me. I found him
a kind, committed, unpretentious artist and man.) It's a legacy well worth
signing off on, and this CD is an outstanding introduction or addition to any
praise music collection.
John Michael At His Best!, August 24, 2003
Reviewer: A music fan (Illinois)
Just when you thought John Michael Talbot couldn't possibly record a better
album than his last, he finds just the perfect symphonic orchestra and just the
right songs! His new Signatures album was recorded using the Sinfonia of
London and the St. Michael's Singers from Coventry Cathedral and it is
magnificant! John's voice and lyrics are inspiring, uplifting, exciting, encouraging and
peaceful. Look, also, into the Brothers & Sisters of Charity, of which John
Michael and his wife Viola are the founder and foundress, located at the Little
Portion Hermitage outside of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
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