Prime Cuts: The Lord's Prayer, You're My All in All, Majestic Medley
Overall Grade: 5/5
Grand is Josh Singletary's first solo album in almost eight years. For this Daywind instrumental effort, he has partnered with producer/orchestrator David T. Clydesdale and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The ten tracks feature Singletary's unique take on beloved hymns, well-known Southern Gospel favorites, and even the Josh Groban/Celine Dion classic "The Prayer." The result is a record that lives up to the album title Grand. With grandiose-sounding orchestration and heart-tingling piano riffs, these songs create awe-inspiring worship and nostalgic intimacy with the Savior.
Grand begins on a high note with "Majestic Melody." Here, the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra appears in its full glory as they give a spirited performance on a medley of "How Majestic is Your Name" and "Great Are You, Lord." While Keith and Kristyn Getty's "In Christ Alone" often suffers from tepid interpretations, Singletary adds Congo-sounding drums, giving this Christ-centered hymn a revved-up island-esque feel. If you want to experience the full beauty of orchestral sounds, do not miss Singletary's take on Andrea Crouch's "My Tribute."
The combination of piano and strings on "The Lord's Prayer" is enough to drive us to kneel in worship. Though touted as an instrumental album, Singletary has recruited a choir to sing "Soon and Very Soon," giving this hymn a Gospel feel. Most affectionate is "The Prayer." The marriage between Singletary's piano playing and the sweeping (but not overwhelming) strings makes this pop chestnut a pure delight. The album closes with a marching rendition of "All Hail the Power," which is a preview of how gorgeous this would sound live.
If you are not into instrumental albums because they tend to be monotonous-sounding and dreadfully slow, Grand will prove you wrong. Impeccably performed and produced, this album is in a class of its own. You want to listen to this type of record when you want to enter into worship.