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This is an unutterably lovely old English melody, which famously was collected and arranged by the legendary composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, who made a habit of such activities. I took some inspiration from his setting, but also added colour from the twenty-first century and some interesting close harmony. Jennifer sings a stunningly great solo, and everyone else sings nicely too, though really I only listen to Jennifer.
This is probably the most complex of the songs on this record, as we discovered when we tried to sing it live recently! I am sure that, one day, it will be sung as brilliantly as it is on this recording. I just don't think that day will come any time soon.
This is the truth sent from above,
The truth of God, the God of love;
Therefore don’t turn me from your door,
But hearken all, both rich and poor.
The first thing which I do relate:
That God at first did man create;
The next thing which to you I’ll tell:
Woman was made with him to dwell.
Then after this, ‘twas God’s own choice
To place them both in Paradise,
But they did eat the fruit of sin,
And thus their ruin did begin;
Thus he in love to us behaved,
To show us how we must be saved;
And if you want to know the way
Be pleased to hear what he did say.
Go preach the Gospel new, he said,
To all the nations that are made,
And he that does believe in me,
From all his sins I’ll set him free.
Gabriel Kahane is often compared to Sufjan Stevens and Rufus Wainwright (both of whom he’s collaborated with in the past). It’s a lot to live up to, but to that already high bar I’ll add Ben Folds and Randy Newman, if only for Kahane’s similar sense of musical theatre, playful storytelling and ability to set … Continue reading Album of the Week: Where are the Arms → Bandcamp Album of the Day Dec 19, 2011