Friday, September 22, 2006

CD Review: Monk Rock

Monk Rock Monk Rock
John Michael Talbot

“Monk” and “rock” (as in music) seemingly don’t belong together. In a CD named “Monk Rock” one would hope to find a many pleasant surprises; John Michael Talbot does not disappoint.

Talbot is one on my favorite modern composers and performers of modern Christian music. Combing rock, folk, traditional church influences, often using or adapting the words of scripture, the liturgy and traditional Christian hymns he has created a body of work that is inspiring, has sound teaching, and is good music. If these three characteristics were the contemporary norm for music at Mass, rather than Gather Hymnals, OCP, and such, I think much of the steam would go out of the liturgical wars.

In this album he returns to his roots of electrical guitar rock music. The original compositions have the freshness of the best of the original Jesus Movement music from the seventies. The traditional texts are played and sung in a way that is fun to listen to and also brings out new meaning to the listener.

In keeping with modern sensibilities about inclusiveness, he not only includes the English and Spanish, but Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.

While the Jesus Prayer Swing (click to hear) should probably never make a Pontifical High Mass and especially the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysotem , it is several cuts above the music at an average parish Mass. I do not that even think that Gerald Augustinus would say that in the car CD player this is Reopening the Cafeteria.

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