Dave Bilbrough - Hidden Kingdom

Published Monday 27th May 2019
Dave Bilbrough - Hidden Kingdom
Dave Bilbrough - Hidden Kingdom

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 5 5 5 5 5
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 175157-28213
LABEL: Independent
FORMAT: CD Album
RELEASE DATE: 2019-03-22

Reviewed by Matthew Cordle

Dave Bilbrough needs little introduction to anyone familiar with UK worship songwriters in the last 40 years, and many of us who sang songs such as "I Am A New Creation" and "Abba Father" in the '80s are still singing them now. Dave here presents a collection of songs sounding a prophetic call to the Church reminding that "so much of the substance of the message of Jesus was and remains very different from our projections of success and achievement," an exhortation to see past the distractions and (self-)deceptions that surround us, to learn to walk the way of the One who loved us into existence. He quotes Isaiah, saying, "Come follow down the ancient path, in returning and rest you shall be safe", the path of the Hidden Kingdom that belongs to the poor of heart, that is both now and yet to come. The CD booklet helpfully provides the inspiration behind each song, drawing out important and thought-provoking truths for all Christians to remember: Remember that we are "Clean Before Him" and worship will be become a response rather than a duty, in our busy lives it's crucial that we re-learn how to "Be Still" and reflect in God's presence, in these times of great turmoil we must remember that Jesus is on the throne of the universe and he will have the final word on everything. The arrangements are a simple, stripped-back acoustic style that, coupled with the small backing vocals choir, is often reminiscent of the monastic feel of John Michael Talbot's music. All good, you might think. . . except that the actual songwriting is not at all convincing. There's a distinct lack of memorable hooks in the melodies, certainly nothing that I'd imagine a congregation singing or that I can really remember after several listens through; there's considerable repetition - the word that comes to mind is meandering. Apart from the message of the lyrics, therefore, a disappointing collection of songs.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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