Hiding Place

Hiding Place

Switchfoot

On its fourth recording, Selah don't step far from their unusual yet successful formula of marrying traditional hymns to contemporary pop and blue-eyed R&B arrangements, African folk songs, Irish melodies, and modern-day praise & worship songs. Siblings Todd Smith and Nicol Sponberg were born to missionaries and raised in central Africa, while Allan Hall was reared in Nashville. The trio met at Belmont College and recorded their first album, Be Still My Soul, for $2000. The rest is history: They've earned four Dove Awards and played Carnegie Hall, as well as holding the dubious distinction of playing on political evangelist Pat Robertson's 700 Club program. Hiding Place's best moments are in its traditional songs, such as "Essengo," a Congolese folk song sung in Kituba, while the old nugget "By and By" is arranged as a chanted African singalong, making it fresh and interesting. However, the trio's attempt at a funky rock arrangement — which may be edgy for conservative churchgoers — is almost laughably bad as pop music. The arrangement of "Through It All" is respectable, but largely because Sponberg finally cuts loose a little, thanks to being prodded by a host of real gospel singers in the background. Also, it is interesting to note that Selah's "Irish" tune, "You Raise Me Up," is actually about as new age a Celtic melody and arrangement as is possible to put on tape. As a marketing gimmick, each member gets a solo track tagged on as a bonus at the end of the set to promote upcoming solo projects (all to be released simultaneously). Ultimately, it comes down to whether you dig this group on a basic level or not. If you do, this will be another delight. If you find Selah's music rather bland, Hiding Place will do nothing to change your view.

Album Tracks

Song Title Length
O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus 6:13
All of Me 2:58
Before the Throne of God Above 3:23
You Raise Me Up 5:02
Part the Waters / I Need Thee Every Hour 3:09
I Bless Your Name 3:50
Esengo 4:22
All My Praise 4:37
There Is Power In the Blood 3:06
You Are My Hiding Place 4:21
Through It All 2:49
By and By (We'll Understand It Better By and By) 3:28

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