REVIEW: David Phelps – Hymnal

Producer: David Phelps
Record Label: Gaither Music Group

This project is one that will keep you occupied for a while. It has eighteen of your favorite hymns on it, mixed with a few very neat instrumentals. The arrangements are awesome, which is no surprise. David Phelps is very theatrical with his solo projects. “Brethren, We Have Met To Worship” has one of my favorite instruments on it, the penny whistle. It gives it a Celtic feel. The last note of the song is incredible. His rendition of “In The Garden” is beautiful. You can really hear his classical training on this song. It almost makes you feel like you’re watching a voice recital. It gave me flash backs of chorus recitals in high school. “He Lives” has a very cool, abrupt key change in the middle of the song. Again, the arrangement is very unique and super cool. He put a rocky feel to “How Great Thou Art” which was an interesting choice. He did one of his famous David Phelps killer high notes about a third of the way through, then came back down and built it all the way back up at the end. Awesome!

“Only Trust Him” has a very classical feel to it. “I Surrender All” was great. I love how he started and ended in minors. “It Is Well With My Soul” is one of my favorite slow hymns. Starting it off a cappella with only a few guitar licks was awesome. The last verse was incredible! His range is out of this world. When you can captivate an audience with vocals alone, the way that he does…Wow! “Something Beautiful” had a feel-good arrangement. It sounded like something you would hear back in the 1940s. That’s some of my favorite kind of music, so I’m a little partial to this one. There were parts of the song where they gave it that old-time record sound. It made you feel like you were listening to it either on an old record or on an old timey radio. I have never heard “Goodbye World, Goodbye” sang slowly, until now. David put a slow, jazzy arrangement to it. Very unique, indeed.

“Battle Hymn Of The Republic” was interesting. I can honestly say I’ve never hear anything like it. It has a killer build at the end to another incredible, strong tenor note. “As The Deer” is pretty. I love when he takes it up an octave higher. “Victory In Jesus” picks things up a bit. It has a black spiritual groove with an awesome choir doing the ad libs. This has always been one of my all time, favorite hymns. His daughter, Callie, sings a duet with him. She got her vocal talent honest, that’s for sure. “Matchless Grace” really shows how much of a classical fan that David really is. It has a traditional feel to it. “Amazing Grace” had a really neat, a cappella arrangement. The album ends with “Until Then”. What a way to end an album! The music sounds like something from a film score. It is very soft and laid back. Then, out of nowhere, there’s a huge key change and a dramatic crescendo in the music. The music then all of a sudden drops to a very soft piano, and just when you think it’s over, David sings the last line once more, crescendo-ing from a song tone to a huge vocal ending. Wow again!

I was so honored to get to review this album! I am such a big David Phelps fan. His voice is truly a God given talent that he has acknowledged and taken time to perfect. I love that so much! This project was no disappointment. Every song flows so well. The whole album was well done. The arrangements are just incredible. I give this project an easy 5 stars! It’s one that I’ll be quickly adding to my music collection. Awesome job, David!

Track Listing:

Prelude: Come Worship
Brethren, We Have Met To Worship
In The Garden
He Lives
How Great Thou Art
Only Trust Him
Suite: Surrender
Interlude: Wrestling With God
I Surrender All
It Is Well With My Soul
Something Beautiful
Goodbye World Goodbye
Battle Hymn Of The Republic
As The Deer
Victory In Jesus
Suite: Grace
Invention: The Crown I Wear
Matchless Grace
Amazing Grace
Until Then


Click to rate this post!
[Total: 4 Average: 3.5]
Victoria Bowlin
Victoria Bowlin
Victoria is a powerful singer, songwriter, author, and Faith-Inspired speaker who gives encouragement and hope through music and personal testimonies. Originally from West Columbia, SC, Victoria's background includes extensive singing and traveling full time with her family, The Shireys and participating in tent revivals held by her late Grandmother, Evangelist Mamie L. Clark. Through deliverance from a serious depression and multiple healings, God is using her testimony to reach countless people.