Saturday, September 06, 2008

Jamie Soles

For a long time I have wanted to put a plug on my blog for Jamie Soles. I have hesitated though because I wanted to do it just right and give you a really good glimpse into why we LOVE his music so much. So, I have put it off for months and months. I just made up my mind (about 2 minutes ago) to make an effort and then direct you to his website.

Jamie's albums are by far our FAVORITE albums as a family. A few of our favorites are "Ascending","Fun and Prophets", "Memorials", and "Weight of Glory". There samples and reviews on his website.

Dan Glover has been recommending Jamie's music to resellers with whom he is familiar. Here's an excerpt:


A friend of mine has been making quality children’s music (he also produces very good music geared toward adults) from a reformed-covenantal perspective for some years now. His music is very high quality both in respect to its artistry and its scriptural insight and content. My friend’s name is Jamie Soles and he hails from Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada.

Jamie sings a lot about God’s covenant relationship with His people throughout the scope of redemptive history. He does a wonderful job of simultaneously combining humour, gravity, solemnity, triumph, education, joy and praise as he retells many of the best and least known Bible stories from both the Old and New Testaments. Generally, each album progresses from creation to fall to redemption and shows God’s grace to His people throughout the full and continuous story of Scripture, culminating in Jesus Christ.

Something else he does masterfully is to show how Messiah Jesus was foreshadowed throughout the OT in so many of the great yet very human characters we thought we knew as well as the events that God ordained in their history. Jamie is a true artist.

Unlike many musicians (some of whom wrote some of the tunes in the Psalter!!), the tunes he has written for the stories he is singing suit the overall spirit of the story-song. Songs of triumph (the Israelites taking Canaan) can be marched to. Songs of mourning (the exile or the death of Absalom) always make it difficult for me to swallow (and I’m the dad). Songs of redemption make me and my family marvel at our gracious God as we heartily agree with the words and our spirits are raised to worship by the melodies.

...Frequently, he is joined by his wife (Val) and the older of his [eight] children who all sing beautifully. The children’s voices are not pouty or whiney and Val’s voice is strong and clear without a hint of sensuality, something that is near impossible to avoid in modern music whether Christian or secular. My family and many others I know have also enjoyed his most recent adult offering, Ascending. This album is a faithful rendering (sometimes nearly word for word) of the Psalms of Ascent.

Jamie’s philosophy of children’s music is similar to that of C.S. Lewis’s philosophy of children’s literature: If it can’t be enjoyed by a fifty year old it won’t make for good children’s listening either. I can attest to the fact that this music appeals to adults as well. Much to my family’s chagrin, Dad often snags one of the CDs before anyone else is awake and takes it to work to listen to. I find that I am continually edified by it and that Jamie has included details from the biblical narratives that I had sometimes glossed over before.

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