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Album Review

How appropriate is it that when this popular CCM vocalist is either praying to or praising God, he hits all the emotional hotspots, yet when he's telling folksy tales about only marginally interesting characters, the songs fall somewhat flat? He could easily have a potential worship standard on his hands with the joyous, country influenced up-tempo rocker "This Good Day," which simply but effectively sees the morning as a gift of the Creator. The simple piano-vocal piece "Pass Me Not" and dramatic, soaring "Beyond the Sky" have an amazing hymn-like quality to them as they explore all the doubts and faith inherent in the Christian life. "No One Else" comes across like a swinging pop Psalm, and a gentle reworking of the African-American plea "Give Me Jesus" is pure and heartfelt. On the other hand, pieces like "Old Girl" that don't reference God are forgettable folk tunes. There are hints here of a Rich Mullins-like writing and vocal style, but with slightly less imagination. Given time, though, Ortega could develop into one of CCM's brightest lights of the new millennium.

Customer Reviews

Rebuttal to the "Album Review" on iTunes

OK, I fully understand that people have different opinions than me, but let me offer an alternative to the published "Album Review" on the iTunes page for this album. First, I see little resemblance in Ortega's music and that of Rich Mullins. Different musical style, different lyrical style, different vocal style. The only thing similar is a tendency towards a more "folksy" feel. So, if one wants to measure against Rich Mullins as the gold standard, they are better off to inspect the work of Andrew Peterson than Ortega's. Secondly, there is no way on God's green Earth that Ortega will ever be considered a CCM star. His work is too introspective, too sedate, too mature for the radio crowd. Besides, who has asked Ortega if it is his goal to sound like everybody else just for a little radio succes. What he does have is a core group of music lovers, both Christian and non-Christian, that hear the beauty in the music, the conviction in the lyrics, and a simple but elegant voice. Third, "Old Girl" is not a favorite tune of mine, but I'm hard pressed to say it's a tune about the "ordinary" or that it has no Christian application. It's about ridding ourselves of prejudices, of pre-conceived notions, of judgmentalism...all certainly necessary in the life of a Christian. This particular album is, admittedly, not Ortega's best, but it does have its highlights ("This Good Day" and "Lonely Road" for me). It has its place in the Ortega discography as an intermediate step (instrumental-wise) between the early piano-centric albums and the recent more musically developed work.

this good day

Fernando Ortega has done it once again. Outstanding and uplifting music that isnt too loud, too churchy, or too twangy. Love ya Fernando!

Three thumbs up! (Is that possible? Oh well. Two thumbs and one big toe up!)

This is my first Fernando Ortega album. I've got to say that he is a wonderful artist! I'm particularly in love with his song "Lonely Road."

Biography

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '00s

Classically trained as a pianist but also steeped in the Hispanic tradition of his New Mexico homeland, gospel singer/songwriter Fernando Ortega recorded more than a half-dozen LPs for various labels before signing to Myrrh/Word in 1997, as part of a Christian musical renaissance which saw a variety of musical traditions entering the liturgies of mainline churches. An aficionado of American and Irish folk as well as the Spanish-oriented music he grew up with, Ortega also studied early music and hymns...
Full Bio
Home, Fernando Ortega
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