A New Creation
2016 / Stone Angel Music
Review by Michael Debbage
American pianist Paul Cardall has a treasure trove of terrific titles that to outdo his past achievements would be a huge task. While embellishments and orchestration is no stranger to Cardall, in the past he has sprinkled his music here and there with such glorious arrangements. However, A New Creation marks the first time that Cardall has fully immersed himself on such a grand scale that the orchestral and choir arrangements of his latest compositions has this album screaming lead candidate for album of the year.
Unlike Cardall’s prior release 40 Hymns For Forty Days where the orchestra and strings had a tendency to hug like a friend versus the full embrace like lovers do there is no evidence of the same reservations found on A New Creation. In fact Cardall has made sure that the greatest love story of all time, God’s love for the human race, was expressed in bold high definition musical colors. This is also reflected by the song titles that give a great timeline of His endearing and enduring love from day one as reflected by “A New Creation” all the way to “My Redeemer Lives” representing the resurrected Christ. While the string arrangements on the latter was previously scored on “Redeemer” from Cardall’s 2007 Songs Of Praise, the choral arrangement found here is something to behold. Otherwise this is all brand new material.
Musically there is also everything under the sun from string embellishments, full orchestration, choral arrangements, even lead vocals and yes occasionally Paul Cardall on the piano. Apparently, his playing has taken somewhat of a back seat to focus on his music which is clearly an effort to direct all the glory to the Creator that means so much to the faith driven Cardall. To hear all of the music components come together seek out “Gethsemane” that features the classically trained tenor Nathan Pacheco whose first prominent break came back in 2009 when he was featured on Yanni’s Voices. Considering the very emotional torn moment of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, Pacheco’s voice was a perfect expressive match. Good luck getting through this song or for that matter the follow up “One By One” that also features Pacheco and a full choir.
While A New Creation has no weak moments the highlight reel includes the sublime sensational strings found on the slow simmering “Wonders In Heaven”. It will have your heart and soul ascending into the heights of musical surrender with your hands lifted to the sky. Similar results can be found on the moving moments of “A Broken Heart” or for that matter the closer “Where There’s Love”. Though Paul’s spatial solo piano performance found on “Eden Za Drugim” which is essentially a solo rendition of “One By One” would have been the perfect way to conclude A New Creation.
A New Creation is Paul Cardall’s boldest recording to date that is without a doubt guaranteed to utterly please the ears, quicken the heart and stir the soul from its deepest depths. It musically represents the royal, regal and redeeming story of our Creator and His love for us, making it a most loving tribute to His eternal passion and power. However, should the subject matter not be near and dear to your heart the music alone will still utterly move you. Either way, people get ready for what currently is the lead candidate for album of the year.
September 26, 2016