Can a finer tribute to “Hallelujah” be found?

Artist: Jean Watson (
Label: Suite 28 Records
Length: 11 tracks/44 minutes

With the recent passing of Leonard Cohen, the instrumental of “Hallelujah,” a bonus track on Wonder by Jean Watson, serves as an elegant tribute. The violin playing is exquisite.

Unfortunately, the song is only available on iTunes. Then again, better there than not at all. It’s one of the finer moments.

Back to the violin. It is not only proficient but soothing throughout, whether the style is traditional Celtic or contemporary expressions of devotion and worship. By the latter, I don’t mean the type sung in modern worship circles. This is never that.

This is closer to classical and folk in the singer/songwriter style.

Though the violin is often heard, it’s not overdone. Keyboards are also prominent. There are snatches of stylish guitar playing, and light, mostly programmed percussion. Watson’s voice adds a delicate beauty. Neither she nor the instrumentation is overpowering.

The mood ranges from peaceful to worshipful and joyful. Serene also comes to mind.

“It is Well” is an original that segues into the chorus of the popular hymn that has the same familiar words in the title.

“Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)” is indicative of the Celtic influence heard more or less throughout. This is the version that includes the chorus written by Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio, and made popular by the former.

A beautiful guitar-driven version of the Matt Redman song, “Blessed be Your Name” is also included. Aside from the standards, most of the tracks are original.

I like the space between the notes. They have room to breathe. It’s not cluttered. It makes for a restful, God-centered experience.

I also appreciate the sentiments expressed in the title song: “May we never lose our wonder / Wide-eyed and mystified / May we be just like a child / staring at the beauty of our King.” Amen, “fill us with wonder.”

Michael Dalton