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Streams in the Desert
Artist: Christopher Conroy
Lengh: 46 minutes
The music started and I thought, "I didn't know Michael Crawford made another religious album?" To my surprise, I was listening to Christopher Conroy, whose trained voice (complete with rolled "r's") sounds remarkably like Crawford, and in his solo album glows. This reviewer is a stickler for pronunciation and Conroy is very good at getting his words across to the listener. His style also reminds me of a past generation baritone who was a hit on Broadway, the late Earl Wrightson.
Conroy's religious lyrics are accompanied by solo piano. The basic accompaniment is chords and arpeggios and this allows the listener to concentrate on the words. Such as in the first track, "Morning Offering," in which the worshiper asks the Lord, "…what can I offer you this day…"
The highlight of the CD is the fourth song, "Words of Hope." The lyrics promise comfort to the lonely with "…I will gather you up in your loneliness….you will find in me the voice that leads you home." Indeed, the intimacy here makes one feel that, yes, things are starting to look brighter.
"By the Rivers" ("…of Babylon where we sat down and wept…") is uneven in sections and this is the weakest song of the CD. This and "As The Deer" ("…longs for flowing streams…") are both Biblically based and in minor keys, but don't quite meet the immediacy of the rest of the album.
"Suscipe" speaks of giving to the Lord your all. "…Take Lord and receive my freedom and my memory all I possess…." The last song, "When From Our Exile" concludes the CD and leads the listener from a morning prayer to evening where "…God leads us home we think we'll be dreaming…"
Christopher Conroy voice and lyrics reach for the heart of the listener. Here are words designed to help you through the day, make the going easier and gives you the Lord, "…the beginning and the end." I, for one, can't wait for the next album.
Copyright 2002 Marie Asner