New CD Reviews from Dave Wang, National Catholic Register (Canada)

From Sal Solo, Janelle, Billie Tarascio, Isidore Bard and Susan Bailey
by Dave Wang | Source: www.gvonline.net

Last year was a huge year for Catholic music, from Matt Maher's success in the Christian music scene, to The Priests’ traditional recording selling millions, to the surprise success of the Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz with the CD "Chant-Music for the Soul". Now, 2009 is starting with a bang for Catholic artists as well! In addition to these recordings, I invite you to check out www.CatholicRock.com for Critical Mass' new album "Body Language", which is now available for just a donation!


 
Sal Solo- We Cry Justice!
Sal Solo's newest release is a brave and hugely successful experiment. It is a concept album focusing on social justice issues from a Catholic perspective. Appropriately, Sal Solo uses the genre of world music with contemporary rhythms and rap thrown in. Together with arrangements and instruments indigenous to roots music from Australia, Africa and other exotic locations, the lyrics tell of Catholic social teaching, from our treatment of the poor in the brilliant "50 cents a day" to the pro-life message of the Church. One can't hear these songs without feeling convicted and being inspired to do more for the less fortunate of our world. A highlight is a brilliant reworking of "Money" by Pink Floyd. I predict that this CD, which was entirely recorded direct to a Mac laptop, will be one of the best albums of the year. Get this CD from www.SalSolo.com.


 
Janelle- What I Gotta Say
This new release from Canadian Janelle from Alberta is a terrific rock/pop recording. With great melodic hooks and lyrics celebrating the true beauty within every individual's soul, Janelle's third recording is her best. "Overall, I feel like this CD really is the best of me and what God has so generously done in my heart throughout this season in my life", explains Janelle, who is now a mother of three children. For the first time, Janelle shares significant songwriting credits and this is a good thing. "This album shows the beauty of my mission as wife and mother, but also of learning and growing to be a virtuous woman of God." What a great recording and what a great role model. Highly recommended. Go to www.Janelle.cc to grab this CD.


 
Billie Tarascio- Send Me
It is always exciting to see new artists in the Catholic scene. Featuring great songs and superbly produced by Dave Smith, this release from Billie Tarascio, a female lawyer from Oregon, is a terrific pop recording and establishes this artist as one of the best new female vocalists to appear on the Catholic music scene this past year. The more upbeat numbers, like the title track, are solid but the slower numbers are where the album excels. There is a haunting "Our Father" and a beautiful "Hail Mary" and a wonderful ballad in "Lay It Down". Go to http://billietarascio.com/ to support this new artist.


 
Isidore Bard- Roadsongs and Parables
Mediatrix Records from Michigan has another winner here! This is great pop/folk recording which features the unique voice of Isidore Bard. Picture contemporary sounding vocals that sound like James Taylor but with much more vibrato. Bard's vocals and unique lyrics distinguish this album from all the other recordings from Catholic music scene. The highlight for me is "Sweet Death", which is an example of the great storytelling abilities of this new artist. This infectious new recording is definitely worth a listen. Check out www.mediatrixrecords.com for this release.





 

Susan Bailey- Mary, Queen of Peace Meditation Guide and Sung Rosary
Rosary CDs have always been big sellers among the Catholic audience. This is simply one of the best rosary projects I have seen. Besides featuring very pleasant music that acts as a soundtrack to the rosary, there is a terrific booklet that goes along with the CD that has great readings and reflections for the prayers. If you know anyone who regularly prays the rosary or if you want to inspire someone to start praying the rosary, go to www.sungrosary.com to grab this project.

 

 

 



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