Recently I was contacted by Kees Kraayenoord which got me thinking that I have not reviewed any of his Albums here. When I wrote back to him I mentioned that other than his song God of the Moon and Stars I really could not name any of his songs. So I decided to listen to his album Broken more carefully and write my impressions.
Kees Kraayenoord's music is very worshipful but not the kind that lends itself to worship choruses. It is not as upbeat as much of the modern worship genre, more in line with the slower material of Matt Redman or Tim Hughes. His music is not in the main as soft as the above linked song "God of the Moon and Stars". I like the more upbeat songs such as" Your Amazing Love", "Offering" and "All That I Want" on Broken but there is something emotionally appealing with his mix of material. If you just listen to this album as background music it will likely not catch your attention with any specially catchy material except for "Your Amazing Love" which starts out the CD nicely. As I often listen to music while I am writing or researching, it affects me most when I pause from what I am doing. No doubt that is true of many Christian artists they would want you to give their music and lyrics full attention. Of course that is not often the reality. Which is why music that has some hook to it becomes the most memorable and sometimes that is to the detriment of the lyrics; where lyrics become repetitious and less meaningful but objects of musical manipulation. An example might be "The Father's Place" on this album which is a gospel inspired song which I could easily forget.
Looking around the internet I see there are not many sites giving reviews of Kees Kraayenoord, and I am not sure why as he does have a few English language albums and the music is interesting and the poetry is quite good. It could be they have trouble spelling his name, I know I do, but I doubt that is the reason. Most likely it is because for American's he is still an outsider even his website is in another language. It starts out as if it is in English but quickly changes into something that only someone who reads Dutch could understand. He might want to look into that because Dutch is not a popular second language in this part of the world. As it turns out Kraayenoord has spent time In Olympia Washington where he worked as a music minister for an Assemblies of God church about 14 years ago. A portal into his website in English would be welcome if for no other reason than to keep his American friends up to date.
As with all my music reviews they are subjectively based upon my musical preferences, I don't review anything I don't like, I give Broken 3 ½ stars. If the material was more in the line of the first 4 songs I would easily give it a 4. As Christianity Today's music reviewer might say there is nothing new here just good worship music. I never like their expectation of something new and different all the time but I realize it is something we always look for. Sometimes we just need good solid mentally and emotionally stimulating music and Kees Kraayenoord's CD "Broken" offers a pleasant dose of that.