A Ragamuffin Band - Prayers Of A Ragamuffin

Tuesday 1st February 2000
A Ragamuffin Band - Prayers Of A Ragamuffin
A Ragamuffin Band - Prayers Of A Ragamuffin

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Myrrh 80688599041
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

The integrity, honesty and passion of Rich Mullins has continued to be the fun­damental ingredient for the new release from his former compatriots Rick Elias, Aaron Smith, Jimmy Abegg and Mark Robertson. As A Ragamuffin Band, they completed the last songs that Mullins wrote, and the subsequent album, The Jesus Record', has so far sold 250,000 copies. This follow up sees the band establishing themselves in their own right, or should that be write? Since this is the first chance for them to record their own material. As you'd guess, they've taken the theme of prayer and approached it from different angles. Whether that's drawing on the prayers of old saints or writing intimate honest songs from their own experiences of prayer, this is a stunning set. Outstanding is the rock­'n'roll of "Faith, Hope And Love" and the fun feel of the album's other rocker, "Shout", which sounds like something Springsteen might have recorded on 'Born In the USA'. However, there are three songs here that grabbed my immedi­ate attention! Firstly, the opening cut "Make Me An Instrument" is going to be a real classic! Based on a musical marriage of the prayer of St Francis of Assisi and St Patrick's Breastplate, it's a moody, string-filled stirring epic which sounds like a film soundtrack! Stunning stuff! "Help Thou My Unbelief is a raw, soul-searching ballad that's typical of this band, in that it reflects an honesty in faith that few Christian bands would risk sharing for fear of not being perfectly sorted out, and tarnishing their image. And that's what's great about the Ragamuffins - there's no pretence! Similar in theme is the jangly "Bouncing Off The Ceiling" which looks at the difficulties of prayer and the feeling that we sometimes have of our prayer life going nowhere. Somehow, the very fact that these are songs born from brokenness and reality, there's plenty of inspiration and encouragement along the musical journey. Not quite a classic but so, so close!

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Make Me An Instrument [Listen]
2. Nothing You Don't Know [Listen]
3. Brother Sun, Sister Moon [Listen]
4. Faith, Hope, Love [Listen]
5. Help Thou My Unbelief [Listen]
6. My Heart Already Knows [Listen]
7. Bouncing Off The Ceiling [Listen]
8. God Grant Me Tears [Listen]
9. Shout [Listen]
10. We'll Be Together Again [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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