Celtic Psalms

Eden's Bridge

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Celtic Psalms Review

by Evan Cater

Celtic Psalms, like its companion piece, Celtic Worship, was marketed in Christian music stores in the hopes of cashing in on the increasing American enthusiasm for Irish music. Eden's Bridge is evidently a CCM alternative to new-age Celt-lite artists like Maire Brennan, Mary Black, and Enya. But the degree to which its music displays Celtic influence varies from song to song. Some tracks, including the opening "Fear No Evil" and the swollen pop ballad "Blessed Is the Man," have more in common with adult-contemporary CCM pop singers like Teri DeSario and Twila Paris than they do those Irish artists. The glossy easy-listening pop conventions that have prevailed in CCM for two decades run throughout the album. Eden's Bridge even covers the 1982 Amy Grant classic "El Shaddai," doing little to push the song in a Celtic direction. The album works best when the band delivers on the promise of the album title, by embellishing the pop sound with Irish and Scottish influences. "Shout for Joy" features a bright and energetic acoustic romp that's well suited to the psalm from which its lyrics are drawn. A traditional setting of "Psalm 23" is given a very sparse and beautiful organ-based arrangement that makes gentle use of uilleann pipes. These tracks are the most effective in achieving the band's goal, stated in the liner notes, of leading the listener "towards a place of spiritual renewal and refreshment."

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