Item description for The Beautiful City by John Michael Talbot...
The Beautiful City by John Michael Talbot
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Studio: Troubadour Records
Record Label Troubadour Records
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.55" Width: 4.97" Height: 0.54" Weight: 0.18 lbs.
Release Date Aug 31, 2006
Publisher EMI- CMG DISTRIBUTION #36
ISBN 0012372218 ISBN13 0749383463926 UPC 749383463926
Availability 0 units.
More About John Michael Talbot
JOHN MICHAEL TALBOT, the author of The Lessons of St. Francis, is one of the founding fathers of Christian music with over 4.5 million records sold. He has received, among many other honors, Dove Awards and Grammy nominations. He tours constantly, headlining over 150 shows which include music and lectures per year.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Beautiful City?
Somewhat Booming for Baby Boomers Dec 14, 2006
I am among many followers of John Michael Talbot. We reflected and prayed with all of his past ""cassettes." We are part of a Small Christian Community for many years. We have attended his concerts in our area. We regret that this particular recording is too jazzie for the Post Vatican II Boomers who ran off with the Church in the modern world. We would be interested if another age group related to this recording as much as we did in the 70's and 8o's. Then it surely is worth it! Thanks for the opportunity to share honestly as an elder Baptized Boomer! Jane 1946
Funky Monk Nov 6, 2006
My title comes from keyboardist Mike Lawler, who during these sessions dubbed John Michael Talbot the "funky monk". I could have also called it Monk Rock 2, but that would be somewhat misleading since Monk Rock was actually Talbot's second rock album, the first being Cave of the Heart, but The Beautiful City is the third. As much as I liked Monk Rock, that album's lyrics come mostly from the Mass, and as much as I like the Mass, I hoped Talbot would write some original rock songs. This he has done on The Beautiful City. And there was much rejoicing.
As with Monk Rock, one of the best parts is the extremely extensive booklet with lyrics and Talbot's song by song commentary. Talbot's brother and former partner in crime--I mean music-- in the band Mason Proffit, Terry Talbot co-wrote the title song and one of the other best songs, "Holy Man". Another great song is "Heal Me", but the standout is a catchy rocker, "God Thing" which screams for airplay (and would be just the thing to revive currently anemic radio). Talbot reaches back to his first solo recording on Sparrow Records (now EMI) from--get this-- 1976-- for "He is Risen", showing the continuity of his musical and spiritual journey.
I don't have a John Michael Talbot story, but here's my Terry Talbot story. Terry Talbot had just cut a solo album on Sparrow Records when he came to play at the college I was attending. I was very excited because he had a rock song I especially liked called "Hollywood Lies" at a time when rock was quite scarce on "contemporary" albums. I had just seen Clapton's "Cocaine" tour where rabid fans naturally greeted each song with flicked lighters, stomping feet and wild screams.
I felt bad that Terry had such a staid, well-behaved audience to play for, so with the first bars of "Hollywood Lies" I began wildly screaming "Whoooooo!" Whereupon he stopped playing and said something like, "Look man, I heard that for years in the world and now I've left that world behind." My roommates offered to beat him up (it was college) and predictably I fell silent. Then he stopped the concert again and said "Now this brother isn't even getting into it!"
The moral is don't yell during a Terry Talbot concert. However, on my side all is forgiven--and forgotten--notice I don't even remember it. I'm very excited to see how involved Terry is with helping John on these projects (and rumor has it Terry may resurrect Mason Profitt, one of the best country rock bands to hit these parts since I don't know when). Maybe the Brothers Talbot will do "Hollywood Lies" on a later rock album (hint hint). Oh yeah, and my opinion of this John Michael Talbot album? Whooooooooo!
JMT Rocks Nov 3, 2006
John Michael Talbot is in the "groove" again. True fans of CCM have to be lovin' it! The songs on Beautiful City are ALL well worth the listen. I especially appreciate the re-make of his classic, "He is Risen." Now that is some wonderfully aged wine. JMT has spent a lot of his long career concentrating on quiet music for Sunday mornings. Now he is taking another crack at the music of Saturday night. BC and his former, recent release, Monk Rock (equally as good as this one!), reconnect his art, and those of us with ears to hear, to the early explosion of spiritual energy and grace of God associated with his original conversion to Christ. But his early Christian rock is augmented now by the benefit of years of reflection and Christian living. Another very bright spot on this CD is to be found in the liner notes that hint at a possible future CD by the Talbot Brothers. That would be with JMT'S brother, Terry, who co-wrote the title song on BC. I hope that the Christian music community will show enough appreciation for BC to justify this future project and more. How about a "Saturday night" version of some of JMT'S quiet music? The Talbots appear to be able, ready and willing to show us once again that the "groove" can be a very Holy place.
"The Beautiful City" continues John Michael Talbot's fascinating foray into the electric music heard on "Monk Rock" Aug 17, 2006
Changes can rejuvenate an artist's career. A new producer, a different sound, and unique collaborations have revitalized the work of different artists. John Michael Talbot has always had a steady and loyal following, but his latest work could serve to expand his fan base beyond those who favor his contemplative side. His desire to once again become proficient at playing the electric guitar has fueled his creative energy. Using rock and a full band sound has given birth to songs that go beyond acoustic boundaries.
This release is a little more sophisticated than Monk Rock. Some of the songs on Monk Rock consisted of chants or short songs lyrically. The lyrics and the production are more fully developed here. The sound is a little fuller and more polished. Subtle synthesized elements grace the music.
As on the prior release, there are multiple guitars and a lot of John Michael's layered harmonizing, which is always great.
The title song, a reference to New Orleans and the Katrina disaster, is one of several highlights. Previously it was only available as a digital download to benefit Katrina victims. Ironically, the song has a swirling and muddy mix, but it fits in well with the others on this recording. The driving music builds to a crescendo with lyrics describing the tragedy. It ends on a hopeful note with a beautiful background chorus of "She will rise again."
This and "Holy Man" were co-written by John Michael's brother Terry. In general, The Beautiful City is a more electrified and less acoustic and folksy version of the Talbot Brothers. One exception, "Love One Another," which is similar in sound to their Reborn days, is the most acoustic song on the recording. It's a wonderful piece of folk-pop with inspirational lyrics. Note to John Michael: please give us more of this. It's absolutely beautiful.
The sweet and quieter-sounding harmonizing on the chorus and the driving, classic rock of "Heal Me" make it one of the standouts.
In what seems to be a nod to the Cream classic, "Crossroads," John Michael sings, "I went down to the crossroads to see what I could find." Blues-rock chords that are reminiscent of the Cream song punctuate the words. Who would have guessed that John Michael would be sounding like Eric Clapton? The music on the song is a great fit with lyrics that play-up the imagery of Satan being a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. This is one of the strongest songs.
There is an ample amount of celebratory classic rock sprinkled with Jerry Lee Lewis-type piano playing or layered with the sounds of an organ. A couple of songs feature some subtle banjo playing. There are a number of blues-rock tunes, but minor keys are mostly absent. You won't find brooding and haunting here.
John Michael Talbot's career has never languished, but his foray into rock has given rise to new creative expression. This will no doubt expand his audience. But for those like me, who also enjoy his quiet side, let's hope that we also see more of that in the future. He may be at this best when he sings those simple, worshipful songs with stark arrangements. How much better can one get than songs like "The Magnificant: Prelude of Faith/Holy is His Name," "The Hiding Place," "Come Worship the Lord (Psalm 95)" and "I Am the Bread of Life"? For now, those who appreciate his musical and artistic genius can revel in this new phase of a long career--this is his 49th release.