|Leigh Nash [Hymns and Sacred Songs] | Posted November 07, 2011
Sixpence None the Richer vocalist Leigh Nash has one of the most recognized voices in all of music and her mega-hit song “Kiss Me” can still be heard on a regular basis just about anywhere. I have long been a fan of her songs and her vocals, especially “Breathe Your Name” and “There She Goes” with Sixpence. Hymns and Sacred Songs offers an exceptional set of classic hymns, re-written with fresh new melodies and modern arrangements including "Blessed Redeemer," "Be Still My Soul," "Power of The Cross," and more. Opening song “Savior Like A Shepherd (Blessed Jesus)” is a wonderful vertical offering to our King Jesus and Leigh breathes her special vocal gift into this gorgeous hymn, also recently recorded by Todd Agnew. Right from the opening banjo part, I could tell I was in for a treat with this anointed collection of songs, carefully chosen by Leigh and her producer for this release on Kingsway Music. Well-known hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is next and is a great example of Leigh’s folk pop music style being infused into a great song for the Church. “Isaiah 55” is one of my favorite songs on this collection. It was written by Katie Gustafson and has biblical and poignant lyrics–“All who thirst come to the waters, leave your barren land, forget the past and look ahead, hear the words that satisfy that your soul may live…we will bless the Lord…there’s nothing You can’t do, oh Lord, we will sing Your praise, on You we fix our gaze, there’s nothing You can’t do, there’s nothing You can’t do, oh Lord.” Those words reflect the theme of this very reverent album and every song is sung directly to God.
“Oh Heart Bereaved And Lonely” really displays Leigh’s emotional vocal style as she passionately sings her heart out with a somewhat melancholy yet sweet arrangement of the classic hymn. She clearly identified personally with the lyrics as you can hear breaks in her vocals as she proclaims these truths of the faith. No song better displays Leigh’s emotional connection to these songs than the incredible modern hymn “Power of the Cross,” written by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. Stuart and Keith have collaborated to write some of the most beloved songs for the church of the past decade, having also written “In Christ Alone” and “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us.” If you like those songs, then you absolutely can’t miss Leigh’s deeply moving recording of “Power of the Cross,” my favorite song on this solid album. When she tenderly sings the last verse, “Oh to see my name, written in the wounds, for through Your suffering, I am free, death is crushed to death, life is mine to live, won through Your selfless love,” I can’t hold it together any longer and the tears stream down my face. “Give Myself To You” would fit on any of Leigh’s solo or Sixpence albums and features her signature pop music sound. I could totally imagine the song getting radio airplay and I love the vertical confession to God, “You are everything to me.” Amen.
In the early 2000’s, Leigh recorded several worship songs for the City On A Hill collections, including “Precious Jesus,” “Beautiful Scandalous Night” and “With Every Breath,” which I’m still savoring many years later. If you have always enjoyed her vocals, then pick up this collection of worshipful songs immediately. I especially enjoy “Savior Like A Shepherd (Blessed Jesus),” “Isaiah 55,” “Give Myself To You” and her beautiful and passionate recordings of “Oh Heart Bereaved And Lonely” and "Power of The Cross" bring me to tears as I pray along with the compelling and moving lyrics. Thank you Leigh for this offering of praise to our Savior and for blessing us with your voice.
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