Joseph Habedank is a multi award-winning and Dove Award nominated singer/songwriter. He was awarded Singing News Magazine's Young Artist of the Year in 2009 and Songwriter of the Year (Artist) at the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards in 2011.
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Reflective, Reverent Worship| Posted May 14, 2015
Dove award-nominated Joseph Habedank has experienced success not only as a singer, but also as a songwriter. His compositions have been recorded by many acts, including The Hoppers, Karen Peck & New River, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Brian Free & Assurance, Lauren Talley, Ivan Parker and Gold City. Habedank also spent ten years as a member of Southern Gospel mixed vocal group The Perrys. In May 2013, Joseph exited The Perrys to face a personal trial, checking into a residential center to receive treatment for an addiction to prescription pain killers.
After taking time off for recovery, Habedank reemerged in July 2014, releasing his first solo effort Welcome Home. The album, all original material that largely drew from his personal testimony and struggle, was met with positive reviews.
I'm sure many have been waiting for his next musical move. And it's no small matter that his new release is a hymns project. Given the recent saturation of the market with hymns recordings, some may look askance, assuming the album to be a half-hearted effort undertaken for commercial gain. They couldn't be more wrong. Take Time to Be Holy: Hymns for Quiet Reflection is the impassioned prayer of a restored man still clinging to his Redeemer.
Like the majority of hymns records, Habedank has chosen many well-known, oft-recorded pieces. Though some have tried to bring a new approach or arrangement to these time-tested standards, Habedank has made a decided effort not to rework the songs, but to approach them in a simple, straightforward fashion with minimal accompaniment. The result is a uniquely reflective, reverent and intimate worship experience.
"A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" sets the stage, with Habedank supported by only piano. With the lyrics brought to the fore, our eyes are directed to Jesus. Habedank's passion is evident when he powers home the line "His Kingdom is Forever." Several of the early songs are cross-centered, and as such establish a mood of worship. On "It Is Well," Habedank's wife Lindsay joins him. Joseph's soulful vocal on "There's a Fountain" injects some oomph.
Exquisite "Hallelujah, What a Savior" is the brightest gem of the bunch. With their beautiful interplay of light and dark tones, Habedank and his pianist take your breath away. Joseph's tone is deep and resonant in the lower notes and equally clear and bright when he goes into his higher register. This vocal range also comes into play on the beautifully performed "Be Thou My Vision." Elsewhere, Habedank tenderly caresses every bit of the melody on "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross."
Title-track "Take Time To Be Holy" closes the album. While it could easily have been an opening number, it finds its proper home at the finish. Habedank has gently ushered his listener into the presence of God, and it's here, at the feet of Jesus, where he will leave us. The lyric entreats us to "take time to be holy," reminding that discipleship takes effort. Though "the world rushes on," we are asked to "spend much time in secret / With Jesus alone."
Given only a cursory listen, Habedank's Take Time to Be Holy: Hymns for Quiet Reflection may feel sleepy. But it's a slow-burn that, with each repeated listen, will work its way deeper into your heart. However, there's a caveat: you must do the work. This isn't the kind of record you turn to purely for entertainment, nor is it one you can listen to while multi-tasking. If you do so, its quiet nature will relegate it to background music, and you'll miss the point. But if you listen actively, if you "take time to be holy" by plugging in your headphones and unplugging the noise of the world, you'll be "plugging in" to Jesus. And in His company, you'll reap incalculable benefits.
Song to Download Now:
"Take Time to be Holy" (Get it on iTunes here.)