When Christian vocalist Amy Lee Moser decided to record an album, she turned to Monastic Chambers. However, she had one big problem: she was a singer, not a songwriter, and thus had no songs to sing. The always helpful owner Jon Gillespie pulled out a catalog of songs he had written and together they culled through the material, eventually selecting 13. Gillespie and his crew set about recording full-band versions of these songs to which Moser sang. Now that’s service.
As you would expect from their origins, the songs span a variety of styles. The title track, the verbose “That’s What You Do When You Love Someone,” is a dramatic piano-driven song that gives Moser plenty of room to sing. The lengthy (6:49) “Silence” seems to have been written just for Moser, allowing her to flex the full range of her vocals, from the peaceful verse to the energetic, pulsing, memorable chorus. Here, especially, Moser shows a real flair for phrasing and ability to emote into the lyrics. Showing a more light-hearted, fun side is the jazzy “Somethin’ To Hold” and the cabaret feel of “You Can’t Get There From Here,” which features tuba and nice vocal harmonies in the chorus. As close to a “torch song” as is possible on a Christian album, “The Spotlight” is simply piano and vocals. Its sparseness is deceptive as the arresting, melancholy melody will stick with you for days. With a real violin (compliments of Howard Michlow), “Oh Rose” sports a baroque feel, bolstered by harpsichord and layers of vocal harmony. Another song guaranteed to stick in your head is “Hound of Heaven,” which incorporates upright bass, violin, and a flute solo (by Moser) in a dramatic song that includes a bit of 70s feel in the chorus. The album closes with “Jesus Will See You Through,” where Amy is joined by a 12-member choir, giving the piece an R&B gospel feel. Not to be overlooked are two instrumentals written by Moser for her children. “Heather’s Melody” and “Sean’s Melody” are light, with a calming, lullaby feel to them, melodic gems sure to be treasured for years.
With vocals that are rich and full but never ostentatious, When You Love Someone is a delightful collection of songs expressing her Christian faith in an enjoyably broad range of styles. An oddity for local releases, the CD includes an eight-page booklet with lyrics and performance credits for each song. Available at the Jefferson Pointe Barnes & Noble, Jericho Music & More and Oakwood Inn in Syracuse.
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