Watson credits producer Billy Smiley with helping her capture her unique vision for every song on WONDER. "Billy was a game changer," She declares. "He started by asking, 'What does Jean sound like?' He was really good at discovering what my vision was for each song, and facilitating that vision. We used expansive movie soundtracks like The Last of the Mohicans and musical references like Celtic Woman to help achieve that world music sound that is so much a part of my vision. We wanted to be intentional about the message of the songs, so we included songs by many different writers and I had a hand in the arrangement so each song carries my personality. Then we called on some incredible musicians like Peter Furler, Steve Hindalong, Jared Neal, John Ellis and Michael W. Smith to help create that sound. Finally, we listened to it as music lovers. I'm thrilled with the finished product."
In a departure from her previous projects, WONDER is being released on the innovative cross-genre Suite 28 Records label along with Smiley's Shadowlands Music, and is being distributed to the Christian market and the general market by Naxos of America, Inc., the leading classical music distributor in North America.
"I am excited about having my project in mainstream record stores where people who have never been exposed to Christian music might encounter it," says Watson. "It is a new opportunity for me to be true to my calling, to own those giftings He has blessed me with. This is who I am. This is who God made me. I am a unique artist, and I love being able to present that to the world with joy and confidence. It is my hope that people, both Christians and those who have yet to come to faith, will experience the wonder of the love of Christ though my music."
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Contemplative Worship| Posted November 30, 2016
Jean Watson is no stranger to the trials and triumphs of life. What sets her apart is her humble attitude towards it all. Her goal is to live a life of worship as a witness to others, no matter where she is. Her new album Wonder not only showcases her unique style, but also does a spectacular job ushering listeners into worship.
The title track "Wonder" is a striking reminder that God is deserving of all the awe and wonder we can possibly have. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He does things that are incomprehensible to human minds, and He makes us stand in awe at what He has done. The lyrics are beautifully simple and set the stage for worship.
A number of tracks on the album are solely instrumental. Jean Watson is an amazingly talented violinist, and these tracks let her playing shine. "St. Peter's Warmsworth in D Minor" is beautiful, one of those songs you could have playing quietly during daily prayer or Bible reading. "Cooley's Reel" is very Celtic/Irish in sound and another brilliant take on her violin ability. "Czardas" clearly demonstrates the amazing skill required to play the violin like Jean Watson does.
"It Is Well" is a dazzlingly written and performed piece that incorporates pieces of the old hymn. The message is the same: no matter what is happening in life, when we look to God through it, we can say "it is well." The lyrics, once again, are simple but perfect.
As a whole, this worship album is less about being big and showy and more about taking the time to be quiet and let God really be able to speak in the stillness. If you're into Celtic music, violin or just plain great quiet time music, this is it.
The Bottom Line: Jean Watson's Wonder is calm and soothing music to usher you into worship. She is a big talent being used for God's glory.
Song to Download Now:
"St. Peter's Warmsworth in D Minor" (Get it on iTunes here.)