One Voice Productions LLC
Release Date: April 12th 2019
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Over the Rainbow
- You Raise Me Up (A Capella)
- Sound of Silence (feat. Tim Foust)
- Fields of Gold (feat. Tyler Ward & Lindsey Sterling)
- Homeward Bound
- Turning Tables / Someone Like You
- Somewhere Out There (feat. Tiffany Alvord)
- A Thousand Years (feat. Evynne Hollens & Lindsey Sterling)
- Bridge Over Troubled Water
- The Prayer (feat. Evynne Hollens)
- Now We Are Free
To be honest, I don’t think anyone has heard about Peter Hollens. No, that’s not a correct statement. I mean, surely there are a lot of his fans and followers on his twitter, facebook and youtube pages, but what I’m saying is that the general public, people collectively; don’t know who he is (aside from his diehard fans). Even for me, who is an occasional listener of Peter (and not really a diehard fan, but a fan nonetheless), if it wasn’t for a post on NRT, showcasing a powerful acapella duet with CCM singer-songwriter Jamie Grace (covering a Linkin Park song ‘Heavy’, in the wake of the lead singer’s apparent suicide), I’d never would’ve stumbled upon such a talented and emotive artist. Though independent, and though mostly a cover artist, Peter’s passion and enthusiasm to create art that is far beyond unique, is something of a mystery, even still. With much of his material only created through voice and vocal movements, Peter’s uncanny knack at transforming an already familiar (or even unfamiliar) song and making it his own is nothing short of a talent that is indeed God-given. Unveiling a variety of albums and singles throughout his storeyed and colourful youtube career (each song he’s unveiled which has since been released on various albums and single releases, has a corresponding music video!); Peter Hollens even unveiled to the public his own rendition of the Greatest Showman songs (of which we reviewed the album here)…and so here we are, in 2019, and Peter has yet another offering for us. This time, it’s a compilation of songs that I myself know, and songs that I don’t. Titled Legendary Covers, Vol. 1, this is a must-have if you have been a fan of Peter’s music and renditions for a while, if you are a fan of accapella music, or even a fan of music primarily living on Youtube (because frankly, that is where all the undiscovered talent really is!).
If you’ve read up to here by now, you’d know that this track listing of songs given the accapella treatment by Peter are some of the most emotive songs over the years, songs that we all probably should’ve known but not necessarily, for whatever reason. And while this album as a whole is not Christian in nature, I still stand by my reason to write my thoughts down about this album- because a song doesn’t have to be ‘Christian’ for it to be used by the Lord to show things about ourselves and Himself- in fact, I don’t even think Peter is even of the Christian faith. But in some ways, that doensn’t even matter- it only matters between himself and the Lord. Other than that, God can use anything that He wants, yes, even the unconventional and weird, even this covers album; to bring people to Himself if He wanted to. And so what do I make of this album? Let me just say this- that while for me I don’t know half of the songs on it, I firmly believe that this album is by far one of the best cover albums to date, for any artist that delves into the realm of cover songs and albums. Yes, Peter Hollens is not a household name, nor does he have to be, in order for such a project like this to be impactful. Songs like ‘The Prayer’ (Celine Dion), ‘Home’ (Philip Phillips), ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and ‘Sound of Silence’ (both Simon and Garfunkel), alongside ‘Imagine’ (John Lennon), ‘Turning Tables / Someone Like You’ (Adele), ‘You Raise Me Up’ (Josh Groban) and ‘A Thousand Years’ (Christina Perri), have all struck a chord with many people who have heard these songs over the years, and all are present here also. Peter, through only using his voice, has accomplished far more than I’m sure any other acapella artist (aside from Pentatonix of course, but mind you, Pentatonix is a band…), and this album full of indeed ‘legendary’ songs are evidence of this.
I’ve said this once and I will say this again- people don’t have to make ‘Christian’ music, or even ascribe to the faith itself for God to use whatever is created to bring you close to Himself. That is a fact. God can and will use whatever way He knows will grab your attention, and if it through this acapella album, or a popular mainstream album, or through a worship album, then we have to lay aside our own preconceived ideas of what we believe to be inspiring music, and let God move the way that He does. Peter’s new album, be it covers, is as emotive as it is poignant, heartfelt as it is challenging, and all the while impressive with the fact that there are minimal instruments employed to create these indeed masterpieces. Peter’s music is a must-listen if you are an fan of acapella, or dare I say it, if you’re a fan of music, period. Acapella is probably, alongside rap, one of the artist musical genres people can go into, and Peter himself has undertaken it with much grace and poise. Well done Peter for such a project that is certain to garner new fans moving forward. Can’t wait to whatever comes next…maybe a remix album in the future?
3 songs to listen to: You Raise Me Up, Home, Bridge Over Troubled Water
RIYL: Tyler Ward, Cimorelli, Alex G, Pentatonix, Tiffany Alvord, Megan Nicole