Leigh Nash’s new release, Hymns and Sacred Songs, is a collection of the singer’s favorite old hymns as well as newly released hymns by such writers as Graham Kendrick, Stuart Townend, Aaron Keyes, Katie Gustafson and Nash, herself. Seeking lyrics cherished for their depth of meaning as well as poetic beauty, the hymns are given a fresh, new look with the combination of Nash’s light and easy voice and updated instrumentation.
Nash, who has been performing since her high school days, became known through her collaboration with Matt Slocum in forming the band Sixpence None The Richer. Following her time with the band, she continued to sing on projects with artists such as Amy Grant, Jars of Clay, Matthew West and others. Her latest project is a celebration and homage to the hymns she grew up singing in church and which she cherished from a child.
It is refreshing to hear the rich lyrics of old hymns such as “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and “Praise the Lord Who Reigns Above.” Writers such as Fanny Crosby, Charles Wesley and Dorothy Thrupp wrote Biblical truths and profound life experiences into their lyrics. As more and more artists rediscover these musical gems their message is once again being heard. Nash’s arrangements are simple, using keyboard, bass, drums and guitars, but they uniquely allow the lyric to take center stage. The overarching theme is that of hope restored, of finding deliverance and restoration in the work that Christ has done one the Cross. My personal favorite is Fanny Crosby’s “O Heart Bereaved and Lonely.”
O heart bereaved and lonely
Whose brightest dreams have fled.
Whose hopes like summer roses
Are withered, crushed and dead.
Though link by link be broken
And tears unseen may fall.
Look up amid they sorrow
To Him who knows it all…..
Take a stroll through beloved hymns, or, discover them for the first time. Their message is timeless, and you won’t be disappointed.
Reviewed by Ann Ahrens