Gregorian Chant | 58 mins
There are no instruments; only vocals. The harmony is unbelievable; the voices intertwine, they crescendo and decrescendo as one and pause for breath simultaneously. The singing bobs like a gentle surf that your mind can swim along with...
With all due respect to 8 Beat Measure, these Spaniards are definitely the a capella team to beat. You don’t have to be Catholic, or even religious, to appreciate their ability. Wait a minute, “Chant?” Turns out that listening to enough of this chanting will actually up the production of beta waves in the brain, giving you increased tranquility and relieving stress; or at least, that’s how it was marketed.
When this little slice of heaven dropped in 1994, it went triple platinum in the U.S., selling three million copies.
Listening to the album itself is certainly jarring. If you’re rumaging through your iTunes library on shuffle and “Media Vita In Morte Sumus” (that’s “In the Midst of Life We are Dying,” for those of you who flunked Latin) starts up, you’re definitely going to sit up and take notice. The singing is eerie, otherworldly, and yes, extremely soothing. These guys have had a bit of time to practice (say, a thousand years or so) and it shows.
The money that the album brings in funds the church and does not go into the pockets of the singers. These monks aren’t performing for you. They’re praying. If you can remember that while listening to the tracks, it’ll humble you in a good way, but it also might help you to forget to sweat the small stuff. Listen when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, and see if you can’t put it all in perspective. There is an undeniable reason this album went triple platinum; there’s a reason these guys are still singing it a thousand years after they wrote it. Four words, baby: This sound