Page CXVI ‘HYMNS II’ : Review

4 May

SSAR (single sentence album review): Buy both albums and put on shuffle

A week has come and gone since the release of Page CXVI’s second album, Hymns II (although the albums, at 7 songs each, are more like EP’s). I have to say I’ve enjoyed it…with a few caveats.

1) This second album does not reach the same heights that the first album does, be that in terms of energy, originality or creative expression. Think of the re-imaging of In Christ Alone on the first album. No song is so ‘re-invented’ on Hymns II.  Neither does a song so creatively express the original intent as did the merging of Joy and It is Well. And the high energy guitar and drums seem almost totally absent.

2) The hymns just isn’t as good. This album feels a bit like a list of songs that didn’t make the original cut. Many of the songs have been re-done recently by the likes of Mars Hill or Sovereign Grace and I’m hard pushed to find a reason why the Page CXVI version is better.

All in all this second album is fine, it’s just that the first album was great. My advice (and I’ve been practising what I preach) is to get both albums, add to a single playlist and put on shuffle.

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6 Responses to “Page CXVI ‘HYMNS II’ : Review”

  1. ammanfordpastor 05/05/2010 at 1:34 pm #

    I agree…but I don’t think I’ll bother buying it.
    Rather, I’m listening to it for free:
    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/05/04/new-hymns-from-page-cxvi/
    You can hear it until until the rest of the week.

    • sammydaviesjr 05/05/2010 at 1:42 pm #

      Its a shame it isn’t available through noise trade really.
      If you’ve downloaded the first album free I think it’s fair enough to pay for the second and consider them one and the same album.

  2. dai hankey 06/05/2010 at 8:16 pm #

    Same as you – not as impressed by the second offering as I was by the first, which was so fresh and raw!

    Also, Sammy you know everything so can you tell me this: Is the lead singer male or female? It’s a serious question as I’m convinced it’s a male, though I know others who are convinced it’s a female. All I’m saying is that if it’s male – I find the high notes he/she reaches in some of the tracks on this second one to be more than unsettling – it’s verging on immoral!!

    God bless you fella!

    • sammydaviesjr 06/05/2010 at 10:40 pm #

      I’m sure we went through this with the first album.

      I can reveal it is definatly a women. Although the identity of Page CXVI is intentionally secret, a little research will lead you to another (read exactly the same) band called The Autumn File. The identy of THAT band is not so secret…check it out.

  3. dai hankey 06/05/2010 at 11:06 pm #

    I am…shocked!!

  4. mike lawrie 06/07/2010 at 7:52 pm #

    btw, the name of the band is the autumn film (not file) and i am not sure how hitting some notes might verge on “immoral.” nonetheless, i agree that this album is not as striking as their first but i am encouraged by those artists who are salvaging these historic songs for a new generation. it is important for us to be reminded that the church is both ancient, present and future and these hymns help us stay connected to those who have gone before us.

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