It’s almost like something out of a movie or novel. A hundred years after her death, Fanny Crosby is still gifting the church with music. A collection of unpublished lyrics was recently recovered at Wheaton College on scraps of paper, envelopes, and legal paper. And they had her initials on them.
From that discovery grew this project: Blessed Assurance: The New Hymns Of Fanny Crosby, featuring Crosby’s lyrics with new music written by some of today’s best worship songwriters, like Paul Baloche, Michael Farren, and Jennie Lee Riddle, among others. The result is a collection of brand new hymns with solid lyrics and modern music. In fact, this album is rapidly becoming my favorite collection of hymns.
The album starts off with “We Are Waiting” by All Sons & Daughters, complete with the perfect harmonies you’ve come to expect from them. From there, the collection moves to New Life Worship’s “Not Be Moved,” with an old-timey feel and an incessantly catchy chorus.
Honestly, it’s tough to choose a standout song on this collection. From those drums at the beginning of “In Life And Death” to southern gospel feel of “I Have Found A Priceless Treasure,” the whole set is decidedly modern but with one eye firmly focused on the past. I loved the piano-driven intro to “Hallelujah [King of Glory]” that gives way to its huge chorus and the Civil Wars-esque sound of “All Is Well.”
Elias Dummer’s “I Never No Never” starts to bring the album to an emotional close, only to give way to the bluesy, stomping barnburner that is “Where Could We Go” by The Blind Boys Of Alabama.