Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Worship Album for the World

Dreams & Visions
Artist: Mary-Kathryn (
Label: Rhythm House Records
Time: 10 tracks/49:52 minutes

On Dreams & Visions, her fourth release, Mary-Kathryn has created a worship album for the world. God-breathed but somewhat generic lyrics, a strong and beautiful voice, world music influences, soft pop/rock and a heart that seeks to unite people combine to produce an album that anyone looking to connect with God through music will enjoy.

The first song, “Incense of Praise,” with its opening sitar and Hugh Marsh’s electric violin flourishes, set the stage for a song that envisions people of all nations worshipping before the throne of God. It’s strong rhythm, exotic instrumentation and a brief interlude of singing in the spirit make it one of the outstanding tracks.

Another highlight is the alternative rock sound of “In Your Time,” which includes a barely audible reading of Isaiah 60 toward the end. The power and beauty of Mary-Kathryn’s voice is particularly evident on the hymn, “My Father’s World.” “You Are There,” which includes an answering male background vocal, is reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac.

Though many of the songs are directed toward God, they also convey comfort as in “Flying Toward the Sun,” which speaks of unconditional love. Mesmerizing and soothing are two words that come to mind in connection with Mary-Kathryn’s music.

It’s a delight to hear Hugh Marsh’s violin on several songs. His brother Fergus joins him on Chapman Stick and bass. The out of the ordinary instrumentation and production scattered throughout give this album a unique sound.

Though this might be a little too “new age” for some, it provides a broad appeal making it accessible to those of varied persuasions.
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