Monday, October 5, 2009

Jadon Lavik - Roots Run Deep; A collection of Hymns

(a Collection of Hymns) Bec Recordings, 2008
Style: melodic pop/James Taylor acoustic.

I discovered this CD playing audio roulette at Walmart (I liked the cover and price.) Turns out Jadon is a worship leader with a liquid voice and two albums under his belt. His third album Roots Run Deep features up-tempo renditions of classic hymns with mostly standard tunes, dressed in melodic acousta-pop production.

Roots features time honored "chart toppers": Come Though Fount, Blessed Assurance, Tis so Sweet, This is my Father's World, I Surrender All, Wondrous Love, Turn Your Eyes, I Need Thee, Take my Life, What a Friend, and Amazing Grace.

"It's definitely a departure from the first two records" he says. "I hope people dig it. It's not super polished or overly produced, but it's really raw, acoustic and real." Lavik says he's always wanted to do a hymns project, especially since he grew up in a traditional church in the state of Washington where he developed a love and appreciation for the standards of the faith. "I love old hymns," the 29-year-old troubadour confesses. "For me, this is not about making a strategic career move. I wanted to do it because I have a deep reverence for the songs."

As is, Jadon and I have a very different sense of what "raw" or un-polished means. Roots Run Deep features dynamic acoustic work and Jadon's beautiful vocal treatments, but this ain't no Americana. Think instead, of well executed Christian-radio fare, with a strong acoustic base. The production is first rate and deeply layered, and meant to buttress but not overpower the songs.

All in all, Roots runs a tad glossy to my ear, but certainly turns a cold room warm... It enlivens (sp?) my spirit as it introduces young people (or modern worshipers) to our rich hymn heritage. Surprisingly, my three favorite presentations take the greatest liberties with the standard tunes. Download recommendations: The very danceable, What Wondrous Love is This (A+) and Take my Life, along with a soft bluesy rendition of Amazing Grace, with alternate chorus.

Thanks Jadon!



  1. 10/25/09
    Danceable?! – “What A Wondrous Love Is This” – I suppose it is – now that I think about it. Worship music you dance to – interesting thought worth reflecting on. I wonder how other believers feel about this idea.

  2. Clay, I didn't know danceble itself was a point for discussion. (though I might agree to discussing "manner.") As is David and I both very much like dancing to songs of paise.