Recently I was given a copy of the Red Letters Project to review on my blog. I’ll admit, I was a bit perplexed by the idea of it. It is all of Jesus’ words in the book of Matthew put to music. They describe it this way: “an ambitious and eclectic 3-disc performance based on the ‘red letter’ words of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew. Drawn word-for-word from the New Living Translation, it’s a real listening experience, featuring 40 tracks, both sung and narrated.”
It is three CDs with different singers throughout the project. As I listened to them the one word that kept coming to mind was “weird.” Truthfully, most of it is painfully bad. To be fair though, they are tackling a daunting challenge. Much of it sounds like cheesy Christian music with forced lyrics (because they are). But there were three of the songs that I genuinely liked. And I noticed that they were all the same singer. Then I realized that he sounded a lot like a band that I used to be into called Ra. So I looked up the info in the CD case and was blown away to realize that it IS the singer from the band Ra. I didn’t know he was a believer (still don’t I guess, but at least he likes the Bible).
So I guess 3 out of 40 songs isn’t a very good ratio of approval, but it was an interesting process if nothing else. The one thing that I can confidently say is that it truly is a “real listening experience.” Kudos to them for the idea but I don’t think it worked.