Monday, October 18, 2010

Heather Payne ~Sweet Exchange~

You may be familiar with the vocals of Heather Payne from her days with Point of Grace. She's out on her own now and Sweet Exchange is her debut solo album. I couldn't be more thrilled with this CD, it's a collection of hymns that have been updated with a fresh sound that spoke to my heart and soul instantly.

The album begins with Holy Holy Holy, an upbeat tune that makes me want to get up and twirl around while singing it. My favorite cut on this album, however, is Rock of Ages. I love how Heather mixed it up with The Solid Rock! Her voice is powerful and adds to the timeless message. This may be the best hymns album I've ever heard. O The Deep, Deep Love is another one in this album that I can't get enough of. It reminds me of how loved I am by my Savior.

If you're in the camp that thinks hymns are outdated boring songs then you need to give this album a listen to. It will change your mind and draw you into your own time of worship. It's simply beautiful.

There's a total of thirteen songs on this CD. Including Be Thou My Vision, Come Ye Sinners along with a few new titles that are sure to please.

You can listen to this new collection here.

Here's the official press release for this CD:
Heather Payne, Founding Member of Point of Grace to debut solo album
Sweet Exchange on September 14

Nashville, Tenn.…Sept. 8, 2010…. After being on top of the Christian music scene for nearly 18 years as a founding member of the GMA Dove Award-winning and GRAMMY ® nominated group Point of Grace, Heather Payne is gearing up to release her debut solo album Sweet Exchange on September 14.

With a fresh take on the timeless hymns of the church, Sweet Exchange presents modern arrangements, new choruses, and sometimes-complete re-imaginations of these familiar classics. Payne’s first single “Rock of Ages” released on September 7. If modern listeners ever thought the lyrics of hymns were stale, these presentations will draw them in and open both their hearts and minds.

“Emotions go just so far in worship. With the rich doctrine in hymns, truth sinks in," Payne says. "I remember when I was very young, and my mom used to let me stand on the pew beside her in church. She let me hold the hymnal, even though I couldn’t even read! I felt so big. I learned the hymns that way, just singing along. I want that for my kids now.”
The album’s theme came from a sermon by Payne’s husband on imputed righteousness. In explaining this big theological term, he used a quote from a first century Greek writer’s Letter to Diognetus. The fact that this old letter could explain a difficult concept in an embraceable way, and then overflow in worship, embodied exactly what Payne hoped to accomplish with this album.

This desire to serve future generations with the theology and worship of hymns stems from the same Scripture that played a role in Payne’s decision to leave Point of Grace. It was the Shema from Deuteronomy 6, the compelling call to impress the commands of the Lord on your children all day long, that struck Payne.
“I memorized that passage because we were starting to have kids and I wanted that in my mind and heart,” Payne said. “As more kids were born, the Lord kept bringing it back up. ‘Are you teaching them diligently?’ When you’re traveling the way I was, there was no diligence or consistency or excellence.”
Since leaving Point of Grace in 2008, Payne has enjoyed her life as a pastor's wife, educator and mother of four adorable kids. Today, Payne is happy to be able to focus on her family and is thrilled that Point of Grace has thrived and continues to impact country radio. (Fellow Point of Grace alumnae Terry Jones even sings background vocals on a few of the tracks on Sweet Exchange). The same passage in Deuteronomy also drives Payne’s desire to pass on God’s truth through the timeless hymns that are so richly conveyed inSweet Exchange, and why the time has come for Payne to sing again.
About Heather Payne:
With one of the most recognizable voices in contemporary Christian music, Heather Payne will release her debut solo album, Sweet Exchange, on September 14. As a founding member of the legendary ensemble Point of Grace, Heather’s voice has become synonymous with gospel music. Sweet Exchange features Heather’s signature vocals paired with timeless hymns and anthems of the church while adding an updated style to create her signature sound. Featuring songs like “Rock of Ages,” “Holy Holy Holy,” and the heartfelt anthem “My Jesus,” Heather’s soaring yet intimate voice take us on a journey of a “sweet exchange.”

This CD was provided for review by Megan Sims the {m} media collective

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