Various Artists

Here to Him Music: Hugs for Women

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This gentle disc filled with 11 heartwarming instrumentals of familiar Christian pop and worship songs could be called "Musical Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul" and, in fact, it's part of a tie-in series with other similarly themed recordings and an inspirational book of the same title. Fortunately, what could easily be just bland musical wallpaper is a bit more emotional thanks to arrangers and keyboardists Jeff Nelson and Sal Oliveri, who give "Butterfly Kisses" a moody yet powerful piano treatment. Twila Paris' "How Beautiful" is given a folksy, down-home flavor courtesy of violinist Christa Black, and Martin Smith's worship classic "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" is given a rocking, sax-driven treatment (sax by Mark Douthit). "Lord I Lift Your Name on High" is played as a guitar rocker. "Go Tell It on the Mountain" is a straightforward, lovely piano ballad with just the right bluesy touch. One of the more likable aspects of the collection is the way producer Glenn Wagner uses different instruments as lead, and the way he varies tempos. Other songs include Debussy's Clair de Lune, "It Is Well," and "All to Jesus I Surrender." The idea is for the music to caress the weary soul. And it works.

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