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The Passion of the Christ: Songs Inspired By
Various Artists
The Passion of the Christ: Songs Inspired By
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Over the last few months, Mel Gibson worked with his close friend, documentary filmmaker and music video director Lian Lunson (Leon Russell, U2, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam) to put together an album that they felt would h...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: The Passion of the Christ: Songs Inspired By
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 3
Label: Universal South
Original Release Date: 2/25/2004
Re-Release Date: 4/6/2004
Album Type: Soundtrack
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 602498620694, 0602498623152, 797307222227


Album Description
Over the last few months, Mel Gibson worked with his close friend, documentary filmmaker and music video director Lian Lunson (Leon Russell, U2, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam) to put together an album that they felt would honor the emotional voyage experienced by watching the film. Gibson felt that the songs should compliment the message in the film and inspire spiritual reflection, but not in an obvious way. The CD takes the listener on a journey, often a dark and reflective one.

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Member CD Reviews

Steve S. (Reno-ness) from ARROYO GRANDE, CA
Reviewed on 7/21/2008...
The CD rolls out like the last week of Christ's earthly existence, and the stuff will grab you and keep you in a way no other compilation will. It was great to hear Leon Russell's "Stranger in a Strange Land" again. Leonard and Bob represent with odes of desparation then hope. The set really blesses you with O'Riordan's "Ave Maria" and the Blind Boys of Alabama with "Precious Lord". Let this one wash over you a renewal of faith.

CD Reviews

Gibson's Gold
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 04/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When I first saw this CD I thought it was a strange marketing tie-in to Mel Gibson's film "The Passion", but on reading Gibson's liner notes, it becomes clear why this selection of marvelous music was brought together; it is music that has inspired Mr. Gibson, and that in some way is connected to the Passion message. It is an eclectic mix, all performed with first-rate musicianship and creative quality. Some of the tracks have been recently recorded, but some have been around for years.Some of my favorites:
The sparse beauty and whispered simplicity of Holly Williams singing her grandfather Hank's "How Can You Refuse Him Now" ~
Ricky Scaggs' "Are You Afraid to Die", with an intro by Dr. Billy Graham is poignant and shows the deep and pure roots of country music ~
Jessi Colter & Shooter Jennings with "Please Carry me Home". Two wonderful voices with a heartfelt rendition of their own song ~
Dolores O'Riordan (lead singer of The Cranberries) is astounding with her rendition of "Ave Maria" ~
The Ghost Who Walks with "Harm's Way" is one of the artists on this CD that I had never heard of before, and am grateful for the "discovery" ~
Leonard Cohen's "By the Rivers Dark" is gorgeous...Cohen at his mystical best ~
The Blind Boys of Alabama's "Precious Lord" is soul-stirring with its plaintive, expressive voice and guitar ~
Bob Dylan's powerful "Not Dark Yet" is a fitting finale. There isn't a single track on this recording that I do not care is a truly great collection, with a slant towards a country-funky style, with overall leisurely tempos and a mellow feeling.
It is a lovely CD on many levels; as a musical spiritual journey, as well as an example of artistic excellence. The only lyrics included are "How Can You Refuse Him Now", sound for the most part is good and total playing time is 51'37."
Intense, Beckoning Collection of Spiritually Driven Music
A.Trendl | Glen Ellyn, IL USA | 09/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

""The Passion" as a movie was an event. Even the atheists went to see it. There was a sort of social pressure to see it. Not here. This CD has its own life, without the subsequent pressure from a media frenzy. It came out unannounced, and that's too bad. It is a superb collection of folk-blues songs that ask the same questions of the movie.

The movie's premise was simple: A man is killed because he claimed to be the Messiah in a culture which expected someone more grandiose and less humble. In the end, that man rises from the dead. The movie's implicit question was not complicated: is the story in the movie true? This CD carries that question forward, repeating it through songs of varied intensity.

Holly Williams introduces the CD with a song beguiling its author, her grandfather Hank Williams. It is reminiscent of the delicate piano found in the soundtrack to the "The Mission" and "Chariots of Fire." 'How Can You Refuse Him Now?" asks the obvious, that after acknowledging Christ's sacrifice, what stops us from following him.

"Stranger In A Strange Land" by Leon Russell steps us back to the Jesus Movement, when great musicians like Larry Norman gave us blues rifts and graveled voices in the midst of music about Christ. Russell's classic is charged with the energy and spiritual excitement of the 1960s.

Billy Graham is in top form as he answers the question, if he's absolutely sure he's going to Heaven, then returns that question to his massive audience. Ricky Skaggs turns to the fold again, poignantly posing the similar thought, "Are You Afraid To Die?"

"Please Carry Me Home" is a country song, sung by Jessi Colter & Shooter Jennings. As life is troubled, and we are tired and torn apart by the daily moments, she wants to go where her savior is.

Any Catholic will know "Ave Maria." Dolores O'Riordan of Cranberries fame does it as well as any version out there.

"Why Me?" sung by Lee Ryan is not asking, "What did I ever do to deserve this pain?" but, "What did I ever do to deserve your grace?" A slight guitar is played in the background, but never takes over the song.

Nick Cave's steady vocals points out that Christ wasn't about public opinion, nor should we be. "Darker With The Day" is joined by the The Bad Seeds in chorus, with a drum modulating the pace. In a single song, Cave is soulful, like David Bowie, Greg Brown, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker and Lyle Lovett all at once, but with more direct melody.

Elvis Presley is usually enough. His gospel work transcends the best of his songs. "Where No One Stands Alone" resonates with strength, brought to life in solid Presley style, but without losing sight of the message, asking God to take his hand, in that place "where no one stands alone."

"Harm's Way" by The Ghost Who Walks is a tough follow-up to Elvis. It is the weakest song, with vocals sounding like Freddie Mercury (lead singer of Queen), minus the range of Mercury. Later in the song, the singer comes to life, in a neo-George Michael style. It never meets the mark, despite some decent lyrics.

Raspy, hiding, tremulously invigorating in his understatement is Leonard Cohen in "By The Rivers Dark." The mystery of Christ, and his power against the darkness which oft-pursues us paces this careful song.

"Precious Lord" by The Blind Boys of Alabama might be one of the best songs I have heard in a long while. Like Ray Charles in "America," they find something very big in simplicity. With a piercing guitar, they sing a heart-breaking devotion to their Lord.

Bob Dylan's Christian era seemed to be long over by the time "Not Dark Yet" was released in 1997 on "Time Out of Mind," but Dylan's music has never been spiritually shallow. It closes an album that left me numb with introspection and spiritual curiosity.

I fully recommend "Songs Inspired By The Passion of the Christ."

Anthony Trendl