Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Wellumson's "Cry" cd... review

I thought I should take a minute and review the Wellumson's cd "Cry". I've been listening to it in the car for a few months but finally sat down to carefully read the words and listen to each track.

Jane Wellumson has been the worship leader at
Cedarbrook Church from the beginning. In the early days, when we barely had a band, her daughters Katie and Emily WERE the band. That's where I grew to love their great vocals and tight harmonies that only a family can pull off. Now that five years have passed, the youngest Wellumson has had time to grow up and join the group (Marta).

I highly recommend their work! If you are expecting the high energy rock from the Cedarbrook Band, you'll probably be disappointed. But if you are looking for great vocals with a contemporary sound and thoughtful lyrics with spiritual insights you'll want to pick this up. They don't play as a band. Each song features a different person and usually a song that they wrote. (But there still are great harmonies!).

Jane wrote five of the 12 songs, giving two of them away to be sung by Katie and Emily. Jane is a troubador by nature. I asked her to be a bit of a rocker on Sundays, but that's not her natural style. She loves to tell a story. No simple repetitive choruses here. She's deep - reflecting on the evil in this world (Peace), the risk of faith (What Would You Do) and the pain of God's refining fire (Refine Me). Here's a woman that has walked with God and gives us glimpses of him through her songs. Her words have a way of transporting you into what she was feeling as she wrote each song.

Katie, Emily and Marta have definite Top 40 leanings, although they too refuse to settle for Christian cliche and simplistic answers. Each one of them, in their own way, talk about experiencing God in the midst of hardship. Marta sings two songs (Cry, Sound of a Whisper) that reference her cry to God, hence the cd title "Cry". In a similar way Katie asks God to hold her in the middle of shattered dreams (Hold Me) while Emily sings a modern day psalm as she looks to God to show his kindness (Majesty). One song I'd love to hear hit the radio waves is Emily's "Satisfied". It's got it all.

Jane is well networked with musicians backing up her fam. Local musicians Randy Sinz (bass), Sue Orfield (sax), Mike Viahaki (keys) and Mike Schelenker (lead guitar) are musicians of note that I'm familiar with. They add a nice full and professional sound.

I think this is a great cd, escpecially for their first one. Produced at SoundWorks in Eau Claire, you'll be pleasantly surprised at what you hear. You'll be proud to give it as a gift... especially for someone struggling through a hard time. You'll enjoy it in the car but it's also something you'll want to sit down and give a serious listen to the words.

Check out their MySpace site to hear some tracks. Pick up the cd at Cedarbrook for $11.