Fresh off her successful solo debut at Carnegie Hall, soprano Natalie Mann tackles an ambitious project—the songs of Lori Laitman and Richard Pearson Thomas—with palpable confidence and a thrilling balance of vocal strength and sensitivity. Ably accompanied by pianist Jeffrey Panko, Mann has never sounded better, her round tone and emotional range sublime or thunderous as the material demands.
These 17 songs are inspired by the psalms, and the musical settings recall Michael W. Smith and Phil Keaggy. Equally appropriate for worship or solitary prayer, these acoustic tracks promise and deliver comfort: humble, unassuming, and stripped of any varnish, with Bruxvoort Colligan’s gossamer tenor leading the way.
Though Andy Paley later enjoyed acclaim as a producer, the power-pop group he led with his brother Jonathan faded, as so many of them do. But this collection makes a joyful case for revisiting the Paleys’ catalog. The collection features the group’s entire output on Sire Records, including the bluesy, infectious “Hide and Seek” from the group’s first EP.